ICA officer among trio charged for corrupt acts to expedite permanent residency application

Wan Ting Koh
FILE PHOTO: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — An Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer suspected of obtaining bribes to expedite a Malaysian woman’s permanent residency application was charged in court on Thursday (10 October).

The Malaysian, Fenny Tey Hui Nee, 24, and another Singaporean woman, Sharon Loo Wai Woon, 28, were also charged with giving bribes to the officer.

Lucy Teo, an ICA customer service officer, is accused of two counts of engaging in a conspiracy with Loo to obtain $1,500 from Tey, as an inducement to expedite Tey’s application to become a Singapore permanent resident.

Teo, 49, also faces 20 counts of unauthorised access into ICA’s Central Identification and Registration Information System to retrieve Tey’s PR application status records on 11 occasions, another man’s passport number records on three occasions and another woman’s PR application status records on six occasions.

Loo was charged with two counts of engaging in a conspiracy with Teo to obtain bribes from Tey to expedite her application, while Tey was slapped with two charges of giving bribes totalling $1,500.

Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to imprisonment of up to 5 years.

Adjournment to engage lawyers

All three women told the court that they are seeking four weeks’ adjournment to engage lawyers or apply to the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme for a lawyer. The trio will return to court on 7 November.

A joint media release by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau and the Singapore Police Force stated that public officers “are entrusted with the custody and maintenance of government systems and the data”.

“They are expected to uphold the law and maintain the highest standard of conduct and integrity. The police will deal severely with public officers who mishandle any government systems and the data therein, including charging them in court,” the media release said.

If convicted of knowingly causing a computer to perform a function for the purpose of securing unauthorised access to any program or data held in any computer, Teo can be jailed up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.

If convicted of a corruption offence, each of the three women faces a jail term of up to five years and/or fined up to $100,000.

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