Friday, October 23, 2020

Prison officer faces bribery allegations involving prison inmate


A prison officer is on trial for allegedly attempting to obtain bribes from an inmate in exchange for facilitating the man’s request to transfer out of an area named Cluster A1 in Changi Prison.

Senior chief warder Kobi Krishna Ayavoo, who has been suspended from work since July 2017, is accused of trying to obtain cash totalling $11,000 and $70,000 in loans from Chong Keng Chye, 48.

At the opening of his trial yesterday, a district court heard that he faces eight graft charges and two charges under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act.

Kobi is said to have instigated two of his then colleagues to gain unauthorised access to their workplace computer platform, known as the Prisons Operations and Rehabilitation System (Ports), in July 2017.

- Advertisement -

One of them, Mr Firoz Khan Shaik Fazaluddin, 43, who was a staff sergeant with the Singapore Prison Service, took the stand yesterday.

He told District Judge John Ng that Kobi called him at his workplace repeatedly over several days from July 17 that year, asking for help. He said he initially “brushed him off”.

Kobi finally revealed he wanted an inmate’s prison number which could be obtained through Ports.

“I didn’t know who the inmate was,” Mr Firoz, who is now working as a senior storekeeper, said in reply to Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang.

He also said that after Kobi gave him the inmate’s NRIC number, he accessed Ports without authority and gave him the inmate’s prison number despite knowing it was wrong to do so. “It’s an offence. It’s a confidential thing. At that point in time, I was not myself due to overwork,” he added.

- Advertisement -

The court heard that the inmate was Chong but it was not mentioned why Kobi needed his prison number and what he wanted to do with it.

Chong is behind bars for one of the worst child abuse cases in Singapore. He had battered his girlfriend’s seven-year-old son over a period of more than seven months until the child died in 1999. He also abused the boy’s two sisters.

In 2005, he was given 20 years of preventive detention, with nine strokes of the cane. Preventive detention is for repeat offenders, who will serve the full jail term with no reduction for good behaviour.

When cross-examined by defence lawyer Rakesh Vasu, Mr Firoz said Kobi did not urge, persuade or instigate him. For agreeing to help Kobi by accessing the computer system without authorisation, he was fined $4,000 on March 1, 2018.

Yesterday, Mr Firoz testified that he started working in Cluster A1 in 1997 before he resigned in 2017.

Kobi was a friend and colleague whom he had known since he was a teenager, he added.

Kobi is out on bail of $10,000 and the trial resumes today.

If convicted of corruption, he can be jailed for up to five years and be fined a maximum of $100,000 on each charge. For each charge under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, first-time offenders can be jailed for up to two years and be fined a maximum of $5,000.


Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleads guilty in foreign agent case linked to 1MDB

Major Republican Party and Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty Tuesday to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, admitting to accepting millions...

Germany issues international arrest warrant for founders of law firm at the centre of Panama Papers

Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven scandal exposed by the...

Latest News

This Week

Goldman to pay over $2 billion in DOJ’s 1MDB Probe

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has reached a long-awaited pact with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay more than $2 billion for the bank’s...

Germany issues international arrest warrant for founders of law firm at the centre of Panama Papers

Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven scandal exposed by the...

U.S appeal court upholds conviction of former Senator Jon Woods in bribery case

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of former Republican Sen. Jon Woods for a bribery and kickback scheme. That decision also upheld the...

Wells Fargo fires more than 100 workers over abuse of COVID-19 relief funds

Wells Fargo & Co has fired about 100 to 125 employees for unethically availing themselves of coronavirus relief funds, according to a source familiar...

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks