SINGAPORE – A Singaporean policeman was Thursday sentenced to 32 months in jail
for accepting S$35,000, the highest bribe in Singapore’s history given to a cop,
to help a Filipino man avoid being charged with making upskirt videos.
The Press Trust of India (PTI) reports that former Staff Sergeant Woo Poh
Liang, 29, had promised to help Filipino Beltran Angelo Salvador, who was caught
red-handed taking an upskirt video.
Woo allegedly said he would help him avoid prosecution in return for
S$100,000, Channel News Asia reported, as quoted by PTI.
On Sept 17, 2014, Beltran emptied his bank accounts and handed S$35,000 in
cash, to Woo.
Though Woo kept his word and recommended Beltran be given a warning, the
Attorney-General’s Chambers disagreed.
When Woo broke the news to Beltran that he would be charged, Beltran
complained to the Corrupt Practices Bureau about the policeman’s conduct.
“The S$35,000 bribe appears to be the largest in Singapore’s history with
regard to police officers receiving monetary bribes,” Deputy Public Prosecutor
Norman Yew said.
“(Woo) also initiated the corrupt transactions (and) in dereliction of his
duties, recorded falsehoods in (Beltran’s) statement, (Woo) was fabricating
evidence,” the prosecutor added.
In sentencing Woo, District Judge Kamala Ponnampalam said the policeman,
who was “in a position of power and able to influence the outcome of the
investigation”, had targeted “a foreign national in Singapore (who was) helpless
and dependent on him for a good outcome for his case”.
Kamala ordered Woo to pay a penalty of S$35,000, the amount he pocketed as
a result of his actions.
Besides the corruption charges, Woo also pleaded guilty to six counts for
various illegal betting offences, including for acting as a bookmaker and
placing illegal bets on the FIFA World Cup 2014.
He had “moonlighted by engaging in illegal activities to supplement his
income with ill-gotten gains”, DPP Yew told the court.
Kamala ordered Woo to pay a fine of S$20,000 for acting as a bookmaker.
Woo received jail terms ranging from one week to one month for the six
charges; these have been included in the total sentence of 31 months and four
weeks for the corruption and illegal betting offences.
Another 12 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing of Woo.
For corruption, Woo could have been jailed for up to five years and fined
up to S$100,000.