Parking attendant who issued 54 false summonses jailed 4 weeks

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Singapore State Courts (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

A parking attendant tasked with patrolling HDB carparks and checking on whether vehicles had violated parking rules instead issued false summonses – without even being physically present at the carparks.

Noorasimah Jasman, 33, was under the mistaken impression that she had to fulfil a quota of summonses and resorted to keying in the registration numbers of vehicles that she had recorded on her previous patrols.

In fact, the quota she was supposed to fulfil was to simply check on at least 60 vehicles at each carpark she was assigned to patrol. In her defence, Noorasimah said she did not patrol the carparks assigned to her as she had to stay home to take care of her grandmother.

On Monday (15 October), Noorasimah was sentenced to four weeks’ jail, having pleaded guilty to 18 out of 54 charges of unauthorised modification of computer material under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act. The remaining counts were taken into consideration for her sentencing as part of her plea bargain.

Photos of offences required

A district court heard that Noorasimah was employed by Ramky Cleantech Services and earned $1,000 a month after CPF deductions. Ramky managed several carparks owned by HDB.

In August 2016, Noorasimah was assigned to patrol carparks in Bukit Panjang or Choa Chu Kang.

Armed with an electronic handheld scanner and “daily patrol accountability” form, she was required to check at least 60 vehicles per carpark – the record of which would be kept on the form.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Alfie Lim told the court that Ramky’s parking enforcement officers would begin their patrols by scanning their handheld devices at the main entrance of the carpark. This would generate a list of the carpark’s season parking ticket holders.

When officers detect violations, they will issue a summons by entering a vehicle registration number into their handheld device, which would see details of the offence sent to HDB’s parking offence management system.

Officers are also required to upload photos of the vehicles involved as proof of the offences.

54 false summonses issued

Around May 2017, Noorasimah claimed that her grandmother, whom she takes care of, was in poor health.

To prevent Ramky from finding out that she was not conducting her patrols, she keyed in the registration numbers of vehicles without season parking tickets into the HDB system via her handheld device. She had checked these vehicles on her previous patrols and had kept records of them.

In all, she gave out 54 false summonses, for $1,175 in fines, between 5 June and 1 July 2017. This led 16 unwitting drivers to pay a total of $304 in fines.

HDB has since refunded the fines and cancelled the remaining summonses issued falsely by Noorasimah.

“(Noorasimah) knew that if a vehicle owner appealed the notice sent by HDB with regards to a summons issued by her, HDB may contact her to ask about the circumstances of the offence as well as the absence of any photos in (the HDB parking system),” said DPP Lim.

“She planned to explain the absence of photos as an oversight on her part. She knew that if she did so, HDB would waive the summons. She also knew that HDB could fine Ramky for her purported error, as a failure to upload photos of an offence was a deviation from the standard operating procedure.”

Scheme unravels

Noorasimah’s ploy unravelled when she issued a summons to a vehicle owner who was overseas. On 22 June 2017, the driver received a letter from HDB about a parking offence committed at 12.01am on 9 June 2017 in Bukit Panjang. The owner then disputed the offence.

While waiting for HDB to reply to her appeal, she received another letter informing her of a parking offence at 12.10am on 18 June 2017 at the same carpark. The vehicle owner contacted HDB again and was advised to make a police report.

DPP Lim said HDB has indicated that it intends to take action against Ramky, likely in the form of fines.

District Judge Kessler Soh allowed Noorasimah, who has a clean record, to begin her sentence on 31 October.

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