Woman took $2,170 in bribes, helped lodge accident reports without the vehicles going to Vicom

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Oct 16, 2023

A service adviser at vehicle inspection company Vicom received $2,170 in bribes from several people, including those linked to repair workshops, between 2016 and 2020.

As a result of Noni Abdul Majirhaid’s actions, customers of several workshops did not take their vehicles to Vicom to lodge accident reports.

Even though her actions had not caused Vicom to suffer losses, they enabled the affected workshops to enjoy a competitive advantage in terms of convenience over their rivals, Deputy Public Prosecutor Leong Kit Yu said.

On Monday, Norhaini, 40, pleaded guilty to four graft charges involving $1,870 and was sentenced to two weeks’ jail.

Three other similar charges relating to the remaining $300 were considered during sentencing.

Norhaini was also ordered to pay a $3,700 fine and a penalty of $2,170. She will spend an additional 31 days behind bars if she fails to pay the total amount of $5,870.

Some of her charges involved her then colleague Susan Seah Soh Eng, then 59, who was sentenced to 20 weeks’ jail and a fine of $4,000 in August 2023 after she pleaded guilty to multiple counts of graft, among other offences.

Motorists involved in accidents must take their vehicles to an approved reporting centre (ARC) or authorised workshop to make reports, the court handling the current case was told.

This ensures that the vehicle’s damage is assessed by an independent body, and the claims costs are contained for motor insurers. Vicom is one such ARC appointed by several motor insurers in Singapore.

Norhaini’s offences involved Ling Siew Ing, 56; Tok Ching Sim, 60 and Toh Lay Chwee, 64, whose cases are pending.

At the time, Toh was the director of Toh Painting & Services (TPS), while Tok was the owner of Lian Hong Seng Motor Works. Ling’s husband was the owner of Long Sheng Motor Service.

In January 2016, Seah introduced Toh to Norhaini. Toh told his daughter that Norhaini would help TPS’ customers to lodge vehicle accident reports without the clients or their vehicles having to be present at Vicom.

Soon after, the daughter provided Norhaini with the details needed to lodge the reports, such as the customers’ particulars and information regarding the accident.

Norhaini would then lodge the reports with the relevant motor insurers through an e-filing system. As a reward, she would corruptly obtain fees for herself from Toh’s daughter.

On seven occasions between January and November 2016, she took a total of $250 from the daughter.

Norhaini also received $640 in bribes from her on16 occasions between January and October 2018.

Under a similar arrangement, Ling transferred $100 to Norhaini’s bank account in February 2018, court documents stated.

Separately, Norhaini received $880 in total on 18 occasions between May 2019 and January 2020 from one of Tok’s employees.

Her bail has been set at $5,000, and she was ordered to surrender at the State Courts on Oct 23 to begin serving her sentence.

Transportation company ComfortDelGro, of which Vicom is a subsidiary, told The Straits Times on Monday that Norhaini no longer works for the vehicle inspection company.

Its spokesperson added: “Vicom has zero tolerance for fraud and corruption. We expect our employees to exercise a high standard of professionalism and integrity.”

The Straits Times

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