SINGAPORE: A 27-year-old man was charged on Friday (May 8) for attempting to bribe a police officer, the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB) said in a press release.
Court documents showed that Chen Long, a Chinese national, offered a S$50 bribe to a Public Transport Security Command officer at Boon Lay MRT station at about 6pm on Thursday.
Officer Chan Hui Shi refused his offer.
CPIB said Chen offered the bribe as an “inducement to refrain from taking enforcement action against him” after he was found to have breached Regulation 3A(1)(a) of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.
This regulation stipulates that all individuals must wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times when not in their place of residence.
As part of enhanced measures introduced to stem the spread of COVID-19, it is now mandatory to wear a mask in public unless exempted under law.
First-time offenders face a fine of S$300, while repeat offenders face a S$1,000 penalty.
“Those caught trying to bribe their way out of COVID-19 related offences will land themselves in more serious trouble with the law,” CPIB said.
Chen will return to court for a pre-trial conference on May 15.
If found guilty of corruption, he faces a fine of up to S$100,000 and up to five years’ jail, or both.
“Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. It is a serious offence to offer bribes to avoid enforcement action,” said CPIB.
The bureau added that it will take firm and swift action against offenders, and will work with the Attorney-General’s Chambers to press for deterrent sentences against them.
CPIB said it will look into all corruption complaints and reports, including anonymous ones. Those with relevant information can contact CPIB online or call 1800-376-0000.