22-year-old National Serviceman pleads guilty to road rage

A 22-year-old National Serviceman has pleaded guilty to an act of road rage by voluntarily causing hurt to a taxi driver at around 8pm on 22 May 2009.

Citran Rathakrishnan punched 49-year-old taxi driver Quek Hiak Soon three times on along Woodlands Avenue 2.

The cabby had swerved into his lane while they were driving along Woodlands Avenue 7 that day.

The court heard Citran’s wife who was seven months’ pregnant at that time was sitting beside him in the car and he had to step on the brakes to avoid an accident.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Prem Raj also told Senior District Judge See Kee Oon that Citran had to step on the brakes two more times after this to avoid a collision with Mr Quek’s taxi.

DPP Raj told the court that Citran’s car and the taxi stopped along Woodlands Avenue 2.

Citran got out of his car, opened the driver’s door of Mr Quek’s taxi and punched the cabby.

Citran will be sentenced on August 2.

For his offence, he could be jailed up to two years, fined a maximum of S$5,000 or both.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 20th July 2010

Employee pleaded guilty for mishandling of clinic’s fund

A customer service officer of a clinic at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre has pleaded guilty to dishonestly misappropriating $10,000 from the company.

22-year-old Dayana Ismail from the Centre for Orthopaedics and Hip and Knee Surgery committed the offence sometime between August 2009 and April 27 this year.

In mitigation, she told District Judge Low Wee Ping that she regretted performing the act.

Dayana also asked the judge to give her some time to raise the money to repay the clinic.

He has given her one month to do so and she will appear again in court on August 24.

For committing the offence, she could be jailed for up to 15 years and fined. 

Source: Channel Newsasia, 20th July 2010

Oil Chemical company’s boss fined for death of employee

NSL OilChem Services Pte Ltd (NSL) and its general manager have been fined for failing to provide a safe workplace, resulting in the death of a worker.

In the Subordinate Courts Tuesday, NSL was fined $80,000 and its general manager, Ong Beng Tit, was fined $15,000.

The incident happened on 3 May 2007 at about 7am at a crude oil extraction plant in Tanjong Kling Road.

The worker, who was employed as a marine trade worker by Prime Project Pte Ltd, was caught in a flash fire while walking out of the pump house, which was situated beside the tank farm area.

The flash fire was caused when escaped flammable vapour from two storage tanks reached an oil lamp with a naked light on an altar near the tank farm area.

The flammable vapour had built up within the tank farm area because the surrounding metal hoarding, trees and fencing had acted as barriers to the dissipation of the flammable vapour by the wind.

The worker suffered 70 per cent second-degree burns.

He died in hospital on May 8.

Investigations by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed that NSL had failed to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure that the workplace was safe and without risks.

The flash point stated in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of recovered fuel oil was inconsistent with the actual properties of the contents in the two storage tanks.

The design and layout of the tanks and farm area were inadequate to allow for the safe venting of the flammable vapour.

A damaged hole on the roof top of one of the storage tanks had allowed more flammable vapour to escape from the tank to the surrounding environment.

An oil lamp with a naked light on an altar was found near the tank farm area.

MOM’s director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate Silas Sng said: “The flash fire could have been prevented if the company had taken the necessary safety measures, such as ensuring that there was no naked flame near the tank farm or repairing the hole on the rooftop of the tank.

“The accident was all the more regrettable that the general manager of the company failed to rectify the inadequacies despite having the opportunity to do so.”

Mr Sng said the fines meted out by the court serve to remind all stakeholders that each of them has a role and responsibility to play to ensure workplace safety and health, and to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives. 

Source: Channel Newasia, 20th July 2010

Partner of food firm faced penalty and jail terms for false claims on Singapore government tax

A partner of a food and beverage company has been sentenced to two months’ jail for making false claims of Goods and Services Tax or GST refunds amounting to S$105, 536.22.

37-seven-year-old Stienberg Tan Geok Yong must also pay a penalty of S$316,608.66 which is three times the amount of GST undercharged.

Tan, who’s the managing partner of Stienberg and Lindsey, pleaded guilty to five counts of making the fraudulent claims between April 2004 and June 2005.

On top of paying the penalty, Tan could have been sentenced to up to seven years’ jail, fined a maximum of S$10,000 or both.

Source: Channel Newsasia, 19th July 2010

Increasing littering in high-rise neighhourhood might cause adjustment in service & conservancy charges

Residents may end up paying more in service and conservancy charges if the problem of high-rise littering gets worse.

This possibility was raised by Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Dr Maliki Osman when he launched an anti-litter initiative in Admiralty on Sunday.

Grassroots organisations will be using community pressure, like roping in residents to keep a lookout for those who litter from their flats.

The number of complaints against high-rise littering island-wide has been increasing over the last few years.

In 2008, there were 2,499 complaints.

This jumped to 3,474 complaints last year.

In the first half of this year, there have been 1,965 complaints.

Dr Maliki said: “When we have a littering problem and we have a cleanliness problem, the conservancy costs will go up because the workers will have to come in more regularly.

“That would increase the cost because from a normal cleaning situation where you just clean the common corridors and the lift lobbies, now you have to go into the individual households to try and clean it.

“This is unnecessary for the residents because the higher the cost, it will be transferred to the residents. We do not want that to happen.

“We want them to try and minimise the need for them to pay extra just because of irresponsible behaviour. At this point in time, we have not raised the conservancy charges at all because we have been able to manage, but I think we can continue to contain it even better if residents take responsibility.

“The chances of increasing costs will be there if we do not contain this, because the idea is to look at the natural situation where previously you will not need workers to go into individual households.

“Now, (in) one HDB block, you have an average of 100 units. Just imagine if half of that required cleaning. The costs will tremendously increase.

“If we do not need that, then we can actually reduce the cost and maintain the cleanliness at the common corridors spaces and common area, and we really do not need to increase costs if everybody is responsible.”

Source: Channelnewasia

Mobile phone manager pleaded guilty to tax evasion

A manager of a company dealing in mobile phones has pleaded guilty to 11 tax evasion charges amounting to more than S$5 million.

Forty-three-year-old Mahesh Sukhram Daswani from Sadhashiv Enterprises assisted his father, Sukhram Parsram Daswani, who is also the sole-proprietor of the company, in evading taxes amounting to more than S$400,000 from January to February 2004.

He also assisted the company and a man identified as Shyam Lekhraj Bhojwani in evading more taxes between February and August that year.

The younger Daswani will be sentenced on July 30.

For committing the offences, he would have to pay three times the amount of tax that had been undercharged – a grand total of more than S$17 million.

He is also liable to a jail sentence of up to seven years, a maximum fine of S$10,000, or both.

Source: Channelnewasia

52 caught with illegal betting in Singapore on recent World Cup

Police have arrested 52 suspects in Singapore as part of an Interpol-coordinated crackdown in the region on illegal football betting during the recently-concluded World Cup.

In all, over 5,000 people across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Macau were arrested, and US$10 million seized in the month-long sting targeted at gambling linked to organised crime, Interpol said on Friday.

In the crackdown, cops raided nearly 800 illegal gambling dens that dealt with bets of more than US$155 million from June 11 to July 11, the Lyon-based organisation said in a statement.

In Singapore, the estimated value of the illegal bets collected was over S$1.6 million, police said.

Superintendent Goh Lam Kiong, who is assistant director of the Specialised Crime Division in the Criminal Investigation Department, said: “These series of operations show that we are serious about clamping down illegal gambling activities.

“We will come down hard on subjects regardless of whether they are individuals betting illegally, or are part of a syndicate collecting illegal bets.”

He added that the police’s enforcement actions will continue even though the World Cup is over.

Interpol’s executive director for police services, Mr Jean-Michel Louboutin, said: “As well as having clear connections to organised crime gangs, illegal soccer gambling is also linked with corruption, money laundering and prostitution.”

The operation “will have a significant long-term impact on these serious offences as well,” he said.

Police also confiscated cars, bank cards, computers and cell phones, and the materials “will now be reviewed and analysed to determine the potential involvement of other individuals or gangs across the region and beyond,” Interpol said.

Under the law, punters who place bets with bookmakers face fines of up to S$5,000 and/or jail of up to six months upon conviction.

Anyone found guilty of being involved in bookmaking face fines of between S$20,000 and S$200,000, and a mandatory jail-term not exceeding five years.

Source: Channelnewasia

32,000 flat owners sublet their flats as of end June

Some 32,000 flat owners have registered their subletting of rooms with HDB as of end June.

HDB has also issued a reminder to those whose tenancies started before February, that their six months grace period for registration will end at the end of this month.

Those who sublet from February 1 are required to register with HDB within seven days from the start date of the subletting.

Flat owners are also required to notify HDB when they renew or terminate their subletting contracts, and when there are changes to their subtenants’ particulars.

There’s however no need to seek prior approval for subletting of rooms.

HDB says this requirement supports the Home Affairs Ministry’s ongoing efforts to eradicate loansharking activities, and to better protect residents.

The housing board says it may impose a penalty on those who flout the rule.

The penalty may involve a fine of up to $3,000 or for recalcitrant cases, compulsory acquisition of their flats.

Source: Channelnewasia, 14th July 2010

Court ordered man to pay victim S$1,000 for a punch.

A man who was fined $3,500 for punching another man was ordered by the High Court to pay the victim $1,000 in compensation Thursday.

On July 5 last year, 56-year-old Lau Weng Kee was slapping his nine-year-old daughter at Serangoon bus interchange because she had poured water on his pants.

As he was slapping the girl, 51-year-old Abdul Hamid Hassan intervened and asked Lau to stop hitting his daughter.

Lau told Mr Abdul Hamid to mind his own business and punched his nose.

Mr Abdul Hamid pushed Lau away to defend himself, causing him to fall.

The two men then stopped and waited for the police to arrive.

Lau was fined but the prosecution appealed for a heavier sentence Thursday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Gillian Koh told the court that Lau was a violent offender who would turn violent towards his child and towards members of the public.

Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong said that what concerned him was if Lau had compensated the victim.

He ordered Lau to pay Mr Abdul Hamid $1,000 in compensation and did not increase his sentence.

Man charged with having sex with underaged girl

A 28-year-old man has been charged with three counts of engaging the services of an underaged freelance sex worker.

Bhadrul Zaman Hashim allegedly gave S$50 to the 15-year-old girl in April last year and had sex with her in a room at Summer Hotel on Lorong 22 Geylang.

It’s believed he engaged her services again in September and October last year.
He is now out on a S$15,000 bail and he will appear again in court next Wednesday.

If convicted, he could be jailed up to seven years, fined or both.

Source: Channelnewasia, 14th July 2010