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Foreign talent's contributions to Singapore


Alfrescian (Inf)
He said the man, an Indian national, has been working in Singapore for more than four years and living here since November 2014.

Man jailed for molesting female subordinate, who left the company over the incident

File photo.
By Lydia Lam@LydiaLamCNA
20 Oct 2020

SINGAPORE: After being molested by her supervisor, a woman felt uncomfortable working at the company and eventually quit because of the incident.

The 31-year-old supervisor was sentenced to six months' jail on Tuesday (Oct 20) after pleading guilty to one count of molestation, with another charge taken into consideration. He cannot be named due to gag orders protecting the victim's identity.

The court heard that the accused had been working at the company for almost four years when the victim, who was 24 at the time, joined the firm as a logistics coordinator.

She was under the man's supervision and had been working for about three months when the offences occurred.

At about 4.30pm on Mar 27, 2018, the victim had finished her work at the warehouse when she went to a staircase landing that was the designated smoking area for employees.

She sat on a chair to smoke, and the accused joined her. He stood in front of her and asked her a question, but when the victim looked at him to answer, he grabbed her by the jaw and kissed her on the lips without her consent.

The victim tried to call a friend on her phone so she could have a reason to leave, but none of her friends picked up.

The accused asked her for another kiss, and the victim pushed him to get him to leave. The man then grabbed her breast before he left.
The victim was "terrified and shocked", said the prosecutor, and began to feel uncomfortable working at the company because of her supervisor's actions.

"She thought that her employer would not believe her due to the accused's longer time with the company. Shortly after, the victim left the company sometime in April 2018 due to what had happened," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ho Linming.

He asked for at least six months' jail, saying that the offence inflicted psychological harm on the victim and its effects "cannot be ignored".

As the victim's supervisor, the man had betrayed her trust, the prosecutor said. There was also "a clear power imbalance" between the two.

Defence lawyer S S Dhillon said his client pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity and had no previous convictions.

He said the man, an Indian national, has been working in Singapore for more than four years and living here since November 2014.

"Your honour, he is deeply remorseful and regrets his actions and that's why he took his plea at the earliest available opportunity," said Mr Dhillon. "His employment will be terminated and he will be repatriated back to his country and that will be sufficient deterrent punishment in itself."

He said his client "respects the laws of Singapore" and wishes to apologise to the victim.

The judge said the man's culpability was high as he was the victim's supervisor, but took into account his remorse. He backdated the man's term to Jul 15, when he was remanded.

For using criminal force to outrage the victim's modesty, the man could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these punishments.


Alfrescian (Inf)
"In mitigation, Chellam said he felt “very remorseful and shameful” and had not committed any other offences in the past three years of working in Singapore."

Another foreign talent under CECA.

Man jailed 7 months for forcing underage girl he met on Instagram to perform sex act on him

TODAY file photo
Chellam Rajesh Kannan, 26, Indian national kissed a 15-year-old girl on the lips and forced her to perform a sex act on him.
Published20 OCTOBER

SINGAPORE — A 26-year-old Indian national was sentenced to seven months’ jail on Tuesday (Oct 20) for kissing a 15-year-old girl on the lips and forcing her to perform a sex act on him.

Chellam Rajesh Kannan, who met the girl through social media platform Instagram, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a young person.

Another two charges, including wrongful restraint, were taken into consideration for sentencing.

His victim, now aged 16, cannot be named due to a gag order to protect her identity.

The court heard that he approached her on Instagram sometime last year and sent a request to follow her account.

They began messaging each other on the platform with Chellam, who is married and has a young daughter, knowing she was a minor.

In August last year, they met in person for the first time and he bought her a packet of cigarettes.

She agreed to meet him again the next month at her housing and development block along Yishun Avenue 11.

Three days before their second meeting, she asked Chellam if he could help to buy bottles of cider for her to share with her friends.

When they met at her block of flats on Sept 8, he passed her the bottles and asked her to follow him to a staircase landing.

There, she turned down his request for a kiss, but he persisted while reminding her that he had helped her to buy alcohol.

She eventually kissed him once on the lips before pulling away.

He then unzipped his pants. She tried to leave but he held onto her hand and forced her to masturbate him for three minutes. Afterwards, he quickly left.

In mitigation, Chellam said he felt “very remorseful and shameful” and had not committed any other offences in the past three years of working in Singapore.

He was previously a safety coordinator.

“I have gone through lots of suffering in this case. I lost my job, I miss my family, my wife and (two-year-old) daughter… Mine is a love marriage and my wife is on her own,” he added in Tamil through an interpreter.

District Judge Shawn Ho said that a stiff sentence was warranted as Chellam had exerted “pressure and coercion” on the victim.

The sentence was backdated to his date of remand, Aug 18 this year.

For sexual exploitation of a young person, he could have been fined up to S$10,000 or jailed up to five years, or both.
Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapo...G5vdxfGdIJqacKgNwFicwjHEzv1kX2Z4uJquUf-lPjUFI


Alfrescian (Inf)
A foreign trash who is now a Permanent Resident

Man on trial for maid abuse fails to turn up in court and is charged with jumping bail

TODAY file photo
Rajamanickam Suresh Kumar, 34, a Singapore permanent resident, failed to turn up in court on Tuesday for the second day of his trial.
Published21 OCTOBER, 2020

SINGAPORE — On the second day of his trial for abusing his domestic worker, Rajamanickam Suresh Kumar failed to turn up in court.

On Wednesday (Oct 21), the 34-year-old Singapore permanent resident was charged with absconding on Tuesday while out on bail. A warrant of arrest had been issued against him.

He is contesting one charge of causing hurt to Ms Vadival Gowthami, a maid in his household, by placing a heated metal spatula on her left forearm on Oct 18 in 2018.

He also claimed trial for using criminal force on her by pulling her wrist the next day.

While in handcuffs, Rajamanickam told the court in Tamil through an interpreter that he did not attend the hearing the day before as he was not feeling well.

He claimed he was also told it would be adjourned till next month but did not elaborate.

He had been represented by Mr Low Chun Yee from Kalidass Law Corporation who discharged himself as Rajamanickam’s lawyer on Tuesday.

His previous counsel, Mr Thangavelu, got Mr Low’s help after discharging himself on Monday.

At the latest hearing, Rajamanickam said he would still contest the maid abuse charges despite not having a lawyer. The trial will resume in the afternoon.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Thiagesh Sukumaran told the court that bail should not be offered as there was no evidence of him being medically unfit.

His wife, who had posted S$5,000 in bail, and lawyers had been unable to reach him.

It is unclear where Rajamanickam went.

District Judge Ronald Gwee said he will rule on the bail issue at the end of the day once the alleged victim has finished giving evidence on the stand.

If convicted of absconding, he could be jailed up to three years or fined, or both.

Those who fail to surrender to custody or make themselves available for investigations can also be charged with the offence, which took effect in October 2018.

The maximum penalty for causing hurt is up to two years’ jail and a fine of up to S$5,000. Employers of domestic helpers, or those in their household, are liable to one-and-a-half times the punishment — resulting in up to three years’ jail and a fine of up to S$7,500.
Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapo...SRjZVRrXI9nu_K2iOfPD80fScQswgkdKRUp3O5swQo3-Q


Alfrescian (Inf)

Man caught for improper mask use jailed 4 weeks for attempting to bribe police
Chen Long offered $50 to be let go.

Chen Long offered $50 to be let go.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Ang Qing

SINGAPORE - A 28-year-old man was sentenced to four weeks' imprisonment on Friday (Oct 23) for attempting to bribe a police officer to avoid Covid-19 enforcement action.

Individuals convicted of a corruption offence such as bribery can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for up to five years.

The Chinese national was spotted on May 7 by a patrol team from the Public Transport Security Command with his mask down near the smoking corner of Boon Lay MRT station.

The four police officers approached Chen Long and instructed to him to wear his mask properly.

He complied, but was spotted soon after by the same patrol team with his mask pulled down to expose his nose.

Chen, who is on a work permit in Singapore, was then taken to a room in the MRT station to be interviewed.

During the interview, Chen showed the money in his wallet to police officer Chan Hui Shi and offered $50 to be let go.

The officer refused his offer and Chen was issued a composition of $300 for an offence under Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

The incident was later reported to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Anyone caught not wearing a mask outside the home faces a fine of $300 for a first offence and $1,000 for a second offence.

Anyone caught trying to bribe their way out of Covid-19 related offences will face further punishment under the law.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Cleaner, who killed supervisor during row, gets life in jail
Malaysian, who fled with woman's jewellery, also sentenced to 18 strokes of the cane
Ahmad Muin Yaacob in a police car in December 2016. During an argument with his supervisor, he stabbed her with a pair of grass cutters and repeatedly hit her. He then pushed her body into a drain, fled to Malaysia, and later used some of the money f

Ahmad Muin Yaacob in a police car in December 2016. During an argument with his supervisor, he stabbed her with a pair of grass cutters and repeatedly hit her. He then pushed her body into a drain, fled to Malaysia, and later used some of the money from pawning the victim's jewellery to pay for his wedding. ST FILE PHOTO

Jean Iau

PUBLISHED NOV 5, 2020, 5:00 AM SGT

Barely a month into his new job at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, a Malaysian cleaner had an argument with his supervisor, stabbed her with a pair of grass cutters, and bludgeoned her as she pleaded for mercy.

Ahmad Muin Yaacob then stole the gold Madam Maimumah Awang, 54, was wearing, hid her body in a drain and fled across the Causeway to Malaysia where he pawned the jewellery, partly to pay for his wedding in Kelantan two weeks later.

Yesterday, Ahmad Muin, 27, was sentenced to 18 strokes of the cane and life imprisonment.
In a courtroom filled with Madam Maimumah's family members, the court heard that during the altercation on Nov 24, 2016, he was alone in a store room with her when he attacked her, thrusting the blades of the grass cutters into her chest.

She fell and pleaded with him not to harm or kill her. She tried to get up but he repeatedly hit her head with the grass cutters.

He then pulled her body to a 1.8m drain outside, removed the drain covers, pushed her in and closed the covers.

After taking her jewellery and phone, he took a taxi to Woodlands Checkpoint, where he took a bus to Johor.

He pawned one of her bracelets for RM1,000 (S$328) in Johor before arriving home in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan, where he pawned two necklaces and a bracelet for RM7,500.

He set aside RM6,000 for the dowry and used some money to gamble. He later sold the pawn ticket to another pawnshop for RM1,054 and used part of the proceeds for his wedding expenses.

He went ahead with his wedding on Dec 9, 2016.

Nine days later, he was arrested by Malaysian police and handed over to the Singapore police the next day at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

He was arrested upon arrival in Singapore later that day.

Yesterday, Ahmad Muin chose not to testify in his defence.

Justice Aedit Abdullah convicted him of a reduced murder charge under Section 300(c) of the Penal Code, which carries either life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Deputy public prosecutors Kumaresan Gohulabalan and Selene Yap argued that Ahmad Muin should face 24 strokes of the cane owing to the aggravating factors of the "extent of the brutality", the lack of remorse and the deliberate step to conceal the body.

However, his lawyers Johannes Hadi and Eugene Thuraisingam argued for 12 strokes, citing the lack of premeditation in the attack, and that it was provoked by a brief argument in which Madam Maimumah called Ahmad Muin's family "bodoh" (Malay for "stupid").

The court heard in mitigation that Ahmad Muin is the seventh of 11 children born in a kampung. He was offered the cleaning job at the ferry terminal in October 2016 and, barely a month into the job, he was told to leave in order for his employer to cut costs.

Mr Hadi also told the court that Ahmad Muin's wife has since divorced him.

Speaking to The Straits Times after the court proceedings, one of Madam Maimumah's three daughters, Ms Suminah Sukardi, 35, who works as an administrator in a transport company, said the initial stage of losing their mother was very tough on the family.

Her sister Norhayati Sukardi, 34, an administrator in a cake shop, said that while she was expecting a slightly harsher punishment, she is all right with the outcome.
She said: "My mum is already resting in peace whatever the sentence is. She cannot come back to life.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Bangla foreign worker and Indonesian maid

Woman jailed for leaving infant in recycling bin

Shaffiq Alkhatib
Court Correspondent

An Indonesian woman has been sentenced to five months' jail after admitting in a district court yesterday that she had abandoned her newborn baby boy in a private estate near Upper Paya Lebar Road on July 27.

The infant was discovered in a recycling bin in Tai Keng Gardens. He was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where he was found to be in a stable condition with no visible injuries.

At the time of the offence, the 29-year-old offender was working as a maid. The court heard that she had developed a relationship with a Bangladeshi man in 2018, and discovered she was pregnant earlier this year. She wanted to terminate the pregnancy and took pills to end it, but this did not work.

On July 27, the woman, who cannot be named owing to a gag order, felt contractions and gave birth in a bathroom in her employer's home around 1pm. The address was not disclosed.

After cutting the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors, she wrapped the infant in a towel and put him in a paper bag. She then placed the baby inside a recycling bin and propped up the lid so air could enter the bin.

Some time later, a resident of the estate heard the baby crying. The Straits Times in July spoke to a man whose son-in-law heard the infant crying shortly after a family dinner.

Mr Lew, who declined to give his full name, said of his son-in-law: "He heard a strange noise coming from (the bin), and asked some of us for help to check it out. No one dared to open the bin because they thought it might be a cat or a dog, so they called me for help."

After lifting the lid, he spotted the infant. The police were also alerted. Mr Lew's family took the baby out of the bin, and an ambulance arrived soon after.

In an earlier statement, police said they had identified the woman through extensive ground investigations and with the aid of images from closed-circuit television footage provided by residents.

For abandoning a child, the woman could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Jail, fine for overstayer who paid for forged entry stamps

Jean Iau


For more than three years, Chinese national Chen Bichun paid for forged passport stamps in order to remain in Singapore illegally to work as a sex worker.

Her illicit stay started on March 19, 2016, and came to an end on July 23 last year when she was caught in a Balestier hotel room during a police raid.

Chen, 38, was sentenced yesterday to 14 months' jail and a $2,000 fine on two charges, one under the Immigration Act and another over the forged documents.
One other similar charge was taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that her passport contained 19 entry stamps and an application to extend her short-term visit pass, all of which were forged.

Investigations found that Chen came to Singapore on March 4, 2016, and was granted 14 days of stay on a social visit pass.

A friend told Chen that she could help her stay on in Singapore and make it appear to the authorities that her stay was legal. Each extension would cost $200 and last about two months.

Chen agreed to the arrangement.

After her friend was arrested in April 2017 and repatriated to China, Chen started being contacted by an unidentified person to get the extensions.

She was finally caught on July 23 last year during a police raid at Balestier Hotel.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority confirmed that the 19 entry stamps and an application to extend a short-term visit pass were forged, after her People's Republic of China passport was seized.

Further investigations found that Chen had stayed in Singapore illegally for a total of 1,222 days, or about three years and four months.

Deputy Public Prosecutor R. Arvindren urged the court to sentence Chen to at least 15 months' jail and impose a $2,000 fine, noting that she "went on a pattern of conduct to get forged stamps".

In sentencing Chen, District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said the sentence was appropriate to reflect the seriousness of the crimes and deter other like-minded offenders from following suit.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Drug runner who escaped gallows sues A-G, prosecutors

Selina Lum
Law Correspondent

Lawyer M. Ravi has filed a civil suit against the Attorney-General, two deputy attorneys-general and five prosecutors on behalf of a Malaysian drug runner who was spared the death penalty last month by the Court of Appeal.

Gobi Avedian, 32, who was instead given 15 years' jail and 10 strokes of the cane, is seeking unspecified damages from the defendants. In court papers, he alleged that the defendants had "abused their powers and acted in bad faith by improperly performing a legal act which resulted in harm to the plaintiff".

He also alleged that the defendants had "breached their fundamental duties to assist in the administration of justice".

Nine defendants are named in the suit: the office of the Attorney-General, current Attorney-General Lucien Wong, deputy attorneys-general Hri Kumar Nair and Lionel Yee, deputy chief prosecutor Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir, and prosecutors Tan Zhongshan, Nicholas Wuan, Chin Jincheng and Chong Kee En.

A spokesman for the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) confirmed with The Straits Times that it has been served the court papers. "The claims are without merit and we will defend them vigorously," said the spokesman.

The Court of Appeal's decision last month was the result of a change in legal position last year on the doctrine of wilful blindness, as well as a change in the prosecution's case against Gobi at the trial and at the appeal.

Wilful blindness is a legal term for the mental state of a person who suspects the truth but deliberately refuses to investigate further.

Gobi was originally charged over the importation of 40.22g of heroin, after he was caught at Woodlands Checkpoint in 2014.

He first avoided the death penalty in 2017 after the High Court found that he did not know the nature of the drugs he was carrying and convicted him of a lesser charge. In 2018, the apex court allowed the prosecution's appeal and convicted Gobi of the original capital charge.

Last year, in a separate case, Nigerian Adili Chibuike Ejike was spared the gallows upon appeal as he was found not to know about the presence of drugs in his suitcase.

In that case, the Court of Appeal held that wilful blindness is not relevant in considering whether the presumption of possession has been rebutted.

Gobi, who was represented by Mr Ravi, then asked the apex court to review its 2018 decision.

Mr Ravi argued that the ruling in Adili's case should be extended to the presumption of knowledge of the nature of the drugs, which was the legal issue in Gobi's case.

The apex court agreed and quashed Gobi's conviction on the capital charge. It also held that the different cases run by the prosecution were prejudicial to Gobi.

After the judgment on Oct 19, Mr Ravi called the prosecutors "overzealous" in a video interview with alternative news site The Online Citizen.

The AGC's rebuttal was that the Court of Appeal explicitly pointed out that its decision to convict Gobi was correct at the time it was made.
The AGC demanded that Mr Ravi apologise and retract his comments. He did neither.

On Oct 23, the AGC said it had filed a disciplinary complaint to the Law Society against Mr Ravi for possible professional misconduct.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Cyclist jailed over fatal accident with pedestrian
Man who died after collision in Sims Avenue last year had not been jaywalking, says DPP
Toni Timo Salminen (left) has been given a week's jail for causing Mr Chew Fook Yew's death.

Toni Timo Salminen (above) has been given a week's jail for causing Mr Chew Fook Yew's death.

Shaffiq Alkhatib
Court Correspondent

A cyclist has been given a prison sentence over an accident involving a pedestrian, who died of his injuries five days after the crash.

Toni Timo Salminen, who is Finnish, was yesterday sentenced to a week's jail after pleading guilty to causing Mr Chew Fook Yew's death by cycling in a negligent manner.
Salminen, 42, had failed to keep a proper lookout while cycling in Sims Avenue on Oct 1 last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rimplejit Kaur said the 53-year-old pedestrian had not been jaywalking, and the accident happened more than 50m from the nearest pedestrian crossing.

She said: "This is not a case where the deceased suddenly dashed onto the road, suddenly appeared (on) the road from an obscured position, suddenly stopped while crossing the road, suddenly turned back while crossing the road, hesitated or lingered while crossing the road or suddenly bent down to pick up something while crossing the road.

"In fact... the accused had an unobstructed view of the entire process of the deceased crossing the road, from the commencement to collision, if he had a kept a proper lookout."

Salminen was in the second lane of the four-lane road in Sims Avenue, going towards Sims Avenue East, at about 6.15pm when Mr Chew stepped onto the fourth and extreme left lane of the road.

Although Salminen spotted Mr Chew walking briskly across the third lane, he did not slow down.

The prosecutor said: "According to the accused, when the deceased was already in lane two, the accused rang the bicycle bell and jammed his brakes...The accused, however, could not stop the bicycle in time as the distance between the accused and the deceased was too short.

"As a result, the accused collided (with) the deceased. The deceased fell backwards onto the road while the accused was flung off the bicycle and onto the road."

Salminen then attended to Mr Chew, who was lying motionless on the road, and waited until an ambulance arrived at the scene.

An ambulance took the pedestrian to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and Salminen alerted the police about the incident at about 7.10pm that day.

Mr Chew was pronounced dead at around 10.30pm on Oct 6 last year.

Following an autopsy, he was found to have died from a head injury, consistent with one sustained in a traffic accident.

For causing Mr Chew's death by cycling in a negligent manner, Salminen could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Woman involved in unlawful 12-person gathering on Lazarus Island fined $3,000
Luong Thi Thu Ha, along with 11 others, engaged in leisure activities on Lazarus Island on Aug 8, flouting Covid-19 regulations.

Luong Thi Thu Ha, along with 11 others, engaged in leisure activities on Lazarus Island on Aug 8, flouting Covid-19 regulations.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Dominic Low

DEC 11, 2020

SINGAPORE - Another member of a 12-person group that had gathered unlawfully on Lazarus Island on Aug 8 amid the Covid-19 outbreak has been fined $3,000.

Luong Thi Thu Ha, 31, pleaded guilty on Friday (Dec 11) to one count of violating Covid-19 regulations that prohibit social gatherings of more than five people who do not stay in the same place of residence.

Court documents state that the Vietnamese woman, a permanent resident here, along with 11 others, took a ferry from mainland Singapore to St John's Island at 11am on Aug 8.
Upon arrival, the group walked to the beach along Lazarus Island, which is connected by a man-made causeway from St John's Island.

They then engaged in various leisure activities, before returning to the mainland via a ferry from St John's Island at around 6pm.

A member of the group, Natalie Joanna Sarkies, 29, later posted photographs of the trip on social media platform Instagram.

The photographs were subsequently reported on various media platforms, attracting public attention and causing public alarm, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh.

Each member of the group was later charged on Oct 2 for an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Seven other members of the group were dealt with earlier and have also been fined $3,000 each.

They are Sarkies; Zoe Louise Cronk, 30; Jeff Richard Alexander, 32; Lowri Mair Jeffs, 31; Richard Henri Lagesse, 31; William Edwin Dunford, 32; and Paul Jonathon Gold, also 32.

Sarkies is Singaporean, while the rest are British.

The cases for the remaining members - Helen Ann Sullivan, 30; Joshua Adam Roth, 31; James Riby Oram Trimming, 31, and Edward John Joseph Lee-Bull, 32 - are still pending.

In a statement on Friday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said that PRs who have been convicted of offences will have their permanent residence status reviewed.

It added that the validity of Luong's re-entry permit will be shortened on the next renewal.

If found guilty of an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, first-time offenders can be jailed for up to six months or fined up to $10,000, or both.
Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to $20,000, or both.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Man jailed in August for Covid-19-related offences sentenced to 2 more years' jail for molestation
Sethu Selvaraj had chased after the victim and forcefully hugged her from behind.

Sethu Selvaraj had chased after the victim and forcefully hugged her from behind.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Shaffiq Alkhatib
Court Correspondent

SINGAPORE - A man who was sentenced to 13 weeks' jail in August after he unlawfully left his home during the circuit breaker period in April will be spending more time behind bars following his guilty plea to an unrelated molestation charge.

Indian national Sethu Selvaraj, 44, who has completed his earlier jail term over offences under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, was sentenced to two years' jail and two strokes of the cane on Tuesday (Dec 15) for molesting an Indonesian domestic helper.

The Singapore permanent resident was at a Bukit Panjang coffee shop at around 8pm on June 6 last year when he spotted the 37-year-old woman.

She was walking back to her employer's flat in Petir Road when Sethu tried to befriend her.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shana Poon said: "While he was following the victim, the accused asked her for her name and mobile phone number.

"The victim told the accused her name and that she did not have a mobile phone. She then continued walking back to her employer's residence."

They were at the void deck of a block of flats when Sethu grabbed the helper's right hand and held on to it.

He also used his body to block her from going up a flight of stairs.

The court heard that the woman managed to free herself and run up the stairs.

Undaunted, Sethu chased after the victim and forcefully hugged her from behind on a landing between the first and second storeys.

He continued holding on to her as she struggled to break free, the court heard.

The terrified woman yelled for help and her cries caught the attention of an off-duty police officer who was in the vicinity.

The 34-year-old senior staff sergeant ran up the stairs and saw the pair.

Sethu was arrested after he finally released his grip on the woman.

On Tuesday, District Judge Marvin Bay said: "It is important that foreign domestic workers, a vulnerable class of persons, be adequately protected from sexual exploitation... It was fortuitous that the (police officer) was present (and) was sufficiently situationally aware to find out what was happening and... directly intervene."

For molestation, Sethu could have been jailed for up to 10 years and caned.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Police warn against holding protests without permits in support of foreign causes
Protests in India in support of farmers have made waves on social media and are are rippling to countries with significant Indian diaspora communities.

Protests in India in support of farmers have made waves on social media and are are rippling to countries with significant Indian diaspora communities.PHOTO: AFP

Ng Wei Kai


SINGAPORE - Police are investigating protests held in several locations in Singapore in support of farmers in India.

Images of the protests, allegedly held without a police permit, were posted on social media but have subsequently been taken down.

In a statement on Tuesday (Dec 15), the police said organising or taking part in a public assembly without a police permit is illegal and an offence under the Public Order Act.

They further said they will not grant a permit for any assembly that advocates political causes of other countries.

"Foreigners visiting or living in Singapore should abide by our laws," said the police. "Those who break the law will be dealt with firmly, and this may include termination of visa or work passes, where applicable."

Farmers in Northern India have been protesting against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision in September to remove the system of government-run purchase of crops in a wholesale market, which had ensured a minimum price for their produce.

They say the move will hurt their livelihood, and have turned down proposals for discussions with the government.

Protesters have blockaded roads and the police have occasionally used tear gas to disperse them.

The protests have made waves on social media that are rippling beyond India's borders to countries with significant Indian diaspora communities.

On Monday, Al Jazeera reported that British Punjabis were protesting in London in solidarity with those farmers in their ancestral home in Punjab, a Northern Indian state described as the "bread basket of India".

The online report said: "Earlier this month, thousands of British Punjabis gathered outside the High Commission of India in central London, in support of the striking farmers, or 'kisaan' as they are known in Punjabi.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Former Shell employee admits to involvement in gas oil misappropriation worth $49 million
Sadagopan Premnath pleaded guilty to four charges of conspiring to misappropriate gas oil from the company.

Sadagopan Premnath pleaded guilty to four charges of conspiring to misappropriate gas oil from the company.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Jean Iau


SINGAPORE - A former employee of oil giant Shell Eastern Petroleum on Tuesday (Dec 15) admitted to being involved in a conspiracy to misappropriate about US$36.1 million (S$49.1 million) worth of gas oil.

Indian national Sadagopan Premnath, 40, pleaded guilty to four charges of conspiring to misappropriate gas oil from the company. Five other similar charges will be taken into consideration during his sentencing.

Sadagopan received about US$150,000 for his involvement in the plot and has not made restitution to Shell.

On Tuesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong described the scheme as "a long-term and large-scale conspiracy to misappropriate gas oil from the Shell Pulau Bukom manufacturing site."

The court heard that the conspiracy took place over two periods between 2007 and 2018, during which gas oil was taken from Shell's refinery in Pulau Bukom, the largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sadagopan was involved in the scheme between 2017 and 2018.

He was employed by Shell around 2012 and his duties included manually opening or closing large valves, or operating the black oil control panels that digitally controlled the movement of valves.

His basic salary was about $2,400 a month, and $3,400 with shift allowances. With overtime work, he was paid about $4,000 monthly.

He had six co-conspirators who were employed by Shell Pulau Bukom and were part of his work team.

They targeted vessels with Vietnamese and Greek captains to conduct illegal oil trading. According to one of the co-conspirators, Juandi Pungot, it was well-known in the industry that such people would readily conduct illegal oil trading.

They would approach the captains of Vietnamese vessels on an ad-hoc basis, and ask if they were interested in performing illegal loadings.

In mid-2017, Juandi recruited Sadagopan into the syndicate. He agreed to join partly because he was worried that the more senior colleagues might otherwise treat him with hostility.

According to court documents, Sadagopan's primary role was to open or close the necessary valves using the black oil panel, as directed by his co-conspirators.

Initially, he would be told by the more senior ones to move away from the panel that he was operating and let one of them take over control.

Eventually, he controlled the panel based on the instructions from the more senior co-conspirators, who told him when to open and shut the valves to avoid detection.

He was often accompanied by a more senior person since he was less familiar with operating the system.

The group was able to avoid detection for so long through several measures.

For example, they configured the flow of misappropriated gas oil through carefully planned routes and ensured multiple pumps and tanks were moving at the same time, including unnecessary tank-to-tank transfers. They also shifted the production of gas oil into the same tank they took from, and timed the misappropriation with the legitimate loading of gas oil so as to not arouse suspicion.

According to court documents, Sadagopan did not know who bought the misappropriated gas oil.

He is scheduled to be in court for mitigation and sentencing on Feb 18 next year.

For each charge of criminal breach of trust, an offender can be jailed for up to 15 years and fined.


Alfrescian (Inf)

$4,000 fine for NUS dropout who forged degree certificate to get part-time teaching job
Xie Xin applied for a part-time teaching job using a certificate he had forged with Photoshop.

Xie Xin applied for a part-time teaching job using a certificate he had forged with Photoshop.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Dominic Low


SINGAPORE - In a bid to land a part-time teaching job at an international school, a 30-year-old man forged a National University of Singapore (NUS) degree certificate, even though he had not completed his studies at the university.

Chinese national Xie Xin was fined $4,000 on Friday (Dec 11), after pleading guilty to one count of fraudulently using a forged document as a genuine one.

Court documents state that Xie, a permanent resident here, was admitted as an NUS student on Aug 1, 2011.

But he withdrew from his studies on April 18, 2016, and did not complete the requirements to get a degree.

Around the middle of that year, Xie downloaded an image of an NUS certificate for a computer engineering degree and inserted his name onto it using image-editing tool Photoshop.

He was reinstated as a student after a successful appeal on Jan 13, 2017, but was academically dismissed about five months later after failing to meet examination regulations.

On Nov 14, 2018, Xie applied in person for a part-time teaching job at Ascensia International School through an introduction by another part-time teacher at the school. He was interviewed by a member of its staff on the same day.

The next day, he submitted to Ascensia the degree certificate he had forged in support of his job application and interview.

Xie later accepted a contract of service with the school for the period between Nov 15, 2018 and Dec 31, 2019.

On Feb 14, 2019, he was told by a human resources executive of Ascensia, who was tasked to process his application, to sign a document called "Lecturer Declaration Form and Verification of Certificate Authenticity".

But he hesitated and asked if he could use his A-level certificate as part of his job application instead of the forged degree certificate.

He also submitted a statement to the school four days later, saying he had not completed his final-year project at NUS and had not "fully-graduated yet" but will finish his studies when ready.

The executive then contacted NUS to verify the authenticity of Xie's degree certificate. The university replied that the forged document did not match any of its graduates' records.

A police report was made by an NUS employee on March 5, 2019, and Xie was dismissed from the school on March 14 that year.

Xie initially told the police that the forged certificate was a photograph of the original one shown to him by a member of the NUS staff, but eventually admitted to the forgery.

According to court documents, the school may still have hired Xie if he had submitted his valid A-level certificate, though at a lower salary scale.
For his offence, Xie could have been jailed for up to four years, in addition to being fined.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Pakistani man jailed for lying in PR application and submitting fake degree in 1997


Selina Lum
Law Correspondent
UPDATED AUG 27, 2020

SINGAPORE - More than 20 years ago, a Pakistani national applying to be a permanent resident lied in the form that his highest academic qualification was an arts degree from the University of Punjab.

Mohammad Sohail, whose highest educational qualification in reality was the equivalent of the GCE A levels in Singapore, also submitted a forged degree to support his application.

The 51-year-old on Thursday (Aug 27) failed in his appeal to the High Court against a three-week jail sentence handed down by a district court in December last year.
In dismissing the appeal, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said that based on sentencing guidelines for such cases, the starting point was a custodial term of two to four weeks.

The Chief Justice noted that the district judge, in imposing three weeks' jail, had taken into account that Sohail had shown remorse by readily owning up to his wrongdoing.

Sohail first arrived in Singapore in 1995 on an employment pass and married a Singaporean woman the following year.

Some time between September and October 1997, he applied for permanent residency and falsely stated that he held a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Punjab.
To boost his chances, he submitted a bogus degree, which he had obtained from his cousin in Pakistan, with the application.

Court documents state that the academic qualification of the applicant is "one of the material considerations" in the granting of PR status.

Sohail's application was approved in December 1997.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said the offences were uncovered during an internal check. Soheil was first charged in court in September last year, more than 21 years after being granted PR status.

This fact was highlighted by the district judge, to make the point that such deception was difficult to detect as it would take a considerable length of time to get verification from the foreign academic authorities.

On Thursday, defence counsel Mahmood Gaznavi said his client's actions were motivated by his desire to be with his wife and first child, a Singapore citizen, who was born in March 1997.

Sohail subsequently had another two children, who are also Singapore citizens.

Mr Gaznavi argued that his client, who ran his own company, did not rely on his PR status to seek employment or obtain any advantage for his children.

ICA will consider each case carefully before deciding whether to revoke the PR status of a person convicted of offences, a spokesman told ST.