One dollar bribe, five years in jail: Singapore's zero tolerance for corruption

In an incredible instance of zero tolerance for corruption, Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CIPB) apprehended two migrant workers for repeated instances of accepting one Singapore dollar in bribe money. SGD1 (INR51 or USD0.73) cannot buy even a cup of coffee in the three countries of which the currencies have been quoted.

The CPIB release stated, "Employees are expected to carry out their duties fairly instead of obtaining bribes in exchange for favours. Even if the bribe amount is as low as $1, they can be taken to task. Bribes of any amount or any kind will not be tolerated." 

was also charged for obtaining similar bribes from other truck drivers over the course of nearly two years.  Zhao, was charged for obtaining similar bribes over the course of 3-1/2 years.
Chen was also charged for obtaining similar bribes from other truck drivers over the course of nearly two years. Zhao was charged for obtaining similar bribes over the course of 3-1/2 years. Photo courtesy: Cogent Holdings

On December 11, 2018, two forklift truck operators employed by Cogent Container Depot Pte Ltd (“Cogent”) were each charged with "small value bribes" from truck drivers at Cogent.

Chen Ziliang, a 47-year-old male, was charged with one count of corruptly attempting to obtain from one Jiang Xingnian, a gratification of SG $1, as an inducement for not delaying the collection of a container onto Jiang’s vehicle, an offence punishable under section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 241.

In addition, he was also charged with one count of embarking on a course of conduct between May 2016 and March 2018 of corruptly obtaining gratification of similar value from truck drivers at Cogent, as an inducement for not delaying the collection or return of containers onto the vehicles of these truck drivers.

As per CIPB, this constituted an offence punishable under section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 241, which is an amalgamated charge pursuant to section 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code, Chapter 68.

Zhao Yucun, a 43-year-old male, was also charged with one count of embarking on a course of conduct between September 2014 and March 2018 of corruptly obtaining gratification of similar value from truck drivers at Cogent, as an inducement for not delaying the collection or return of containers onto the vehicles of these truck drivers. This constituted an offence punishable under section 6(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 241, which is an amalgamated charge pursuant to section 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code, Chapter 68.

Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. It is a serious offence to bribe, or attempt to bribe another individual or entity. Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to $100,000 or sentenced to imprisonment of up to 5 years or to both.

Earlier in the year, Singapore's global position was improved to sixth in the annual ranking of countries that are considered least corrupt in 2017, moving up a notch from the seventh position in 2016. 

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CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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