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The Straits Times
May 9, 2023
An Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer has been convicted of corruption for receiving sex and cash from a foreign sex worker who wanted to be arrested so that she could buy time and continue working in Singapore.
The sex worker, Liang Qinglan, knew that foreigners issued with a special pass (SP) could remain here to assist with investigations.
The Chinese national concluded that as long as she was not deported, she could still work.
In earlier proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor David Menon said: “(Liang) knew it was wrong to provide sexual services to an immigration officer in exchange for his help obtaining an SP, but obliged because she wanted to secure an SP so that she could remain in Singapore to work.”
Liang, now 39, had entered Singapore on May 28, 2018, on a social visit pass which expired on July 27 that year.
Some time between July and August 2018, she contacted ICA officer Teo Hwee Peng, 49. He said he could help her secure a special pass in return for an iPhone X.
Between July and October 2018, Teo invited himself to Liang’s home in Jurong West and they had sex.
After the encounter, Liang asked Teo for the procedure to extend her stay in Singapore.
He said he would arrange for her to be arrested.
Teo, who previously worked in ICA’s Intel Ops Branch, had contacts who alerted him to potential immigration offenders.
He gave an informant Liang’s details, and the informant in turn alerted an ICA officer.
Liang was arrested on Oct 16, 2018. When asked whether she wanted to remain in Singapore to assist with a related ICA investigation, she agreed.
She paid a fine for overstaying and was issued an SP. Two days later, Teo and Liang met for a meal, which Liang paid for.
She also offered to buy Teo an iPhone, but he declined. Instead, he agreed to her offer of cash of between $2,100 and $2,200.
Later that month, Liang also lent Teo 5,000 yuan (S$960). He repaid this sum.
The prosecution said she later lent him another 2,000 yuan, but he did not repay this amount.
Teo, who has been suspended from his duties by ICA since Nov 25, 2020, was convicted on Tuesday of eight graft charges for receiving cash and sex from Liang on multiple occasions in 2018 and 2019.
He was acquitted of one graft charge linked to Liang and three similar charges involving another Chinese national, Ms Cheng Wenjuan.
He received the acquittals after Liang gave unclear and puzzling evidence involving a purported sexual favour, and following Ms Cheng’s death from suicide, said Principal District Judge Victor Yeo.
Ms Cheng, 32, had been accused of offences including multiple counts of graft when she was found dead at the foot of a block of flats in August 2021.
With Teo’s discharge amounting to an acquittal, he cannot be charged again for the same offences.
Liang was sentenced to 25 weeks’ jail and a fine of $8,000 in December 2021 after she pleaded guilty to three counts of corruption involving Teo and a separate charge for offering sexual services online.
Teo is out on bail of $50,000. His mitigation and sentencing will most likely take place on June 26.
For each count of graft, an offender can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000.
Violence and Sexual Harassment