ICA officer charged with 35 counts of accepting bribes

An immigration officer was on Wednesday charged with accepting bribes from foreigners in exchange for prolonging their stays in Singapore.
 
According to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), Mohammed Mustaffa Bin Mohabat Ali, who served as a primary screening officer with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), was slapped with a total of 35 corruption charges in court. He is currently suspended pending the outcome of his charges.
 
His charges include 22 for corruptly accepting gratification, seven for corruptly agreeing to accept gratification, four counts of corruptly giving gratification and two of corruptly offering gratification.
 
While working at the Tuas Checkpoint between October 2010 and June 2011, Mustaffa is believed to have granted 30-day social visit passes to Filipino and Vietnamese women passing through in exchange for cash of between $150 and $850.
 
Investigations by the CPIB revealed that he worked with Philibert Tng Hai Swee, a driver who ferried the foreigners through the checkpoint and brought them to him for approval of their visit passes.
 
Mustaffa also allegedly enlisted the help of three other ICA officers and another who no longer worked with the agency in his operation. The three were since fired from their jobs.
 
For each of his corruption charges, Mustaffa could be jailed for up to five years and fined up to S$100,000. His case will be next be mentioned in court on 25 September, and he is out on a S$10,000 bail.

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