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Singapore

Singapore immigration officer charged in sex bribery case involving Chinese women

Official is accused of receiving sexual favours in return for visa extensions and warning the female visitors about impending raids

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 September, 2018, 6:09pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 September, 2018, 6:10pm

A Singapore immigration official was on Thursday charged for allegedly receiving sexual favours from Chinese women in exchange for helping them extend their visas, a rare case of corruption in a city state known for its clean image.

Chin Peng Sum was also accused of tipping off the two women about impending raids and obstruction of justice for deleting incriminating text messages he exchanged with them.

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The 51-year-old, a staff sergeant with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, allegedly accepted sex as bribes from the foreign women in exchange for ensuring that their visitor passes were extended, the country’s anti-corruption body said.

He was also accused of violating the Official Secrets Act by telling the women in advance about impending raids so that they could evade arrest for “vice-related and/or immigration” offences, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau added.

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“It is a serious offence for public officers to act in their own interests and use their position to solicit corrupt benefits,” it said.

Singapore, a thriving business hub and financial centre, takes a tough stand against corruption, and has consistently ranked in surveys as among the least corrupt countries.

Its civil servants’ salaries are among the highest in the world, in what authorities say is a bid to deter corruption.

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Cases do still occur sometimes. In 2013, Peter Lim – former head of the civil defence force, which oversees emergency services – was found guilty of corruption in a sex-for-contracts case and imprisoned for six months.