Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali was a former Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Primary Screening Officer attached to the Tuas Checkpoint. His duties included assessing whether foreigners meet entry requirements, inspecting travellers’ passports and granting Visit Passes (VP) to visitors to enter and remain in Singapore. Between October 2010 and June 2011, Mustaffa accepted bribes in return for granting VP to Filipino and Vietnamese women to extend their stay in Singapore.
Mustaffa worked mainly with a middleman, who would also refer foreigners to him. The middleman would provide transportation to the foreigners, drive them through the checkpoint and seek out Mustaffa to grant the VP when he was doing clearance duty at the checkpoint. The foreigners had paid fees of between S$150 to S$550 for each re-entry. Mustaffa had also recruited and given bribes to four ICA colleagues to assist him in his scheme when he was not able to do so.
Mohammed Mustaffa Mohabat Ali was arrested after the CPIB, with the assistance of the ICA, cracked the case in June 2011. He was convicted for corruption offences, then sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay a penalty* of S$8,050 in December 2013. The following year, Ezhar Bin Kamis, Mohamed Nazrul Bin Noor Mohamed, Lukmanulhakim Bin Samsun and Nor Hidayat Bin Mohamed Hussain whom Mustaffa recruited for his scheme were each sentenced to 4 months’ jail and ordered to pay penalties* of between S$50 and S$150.
* Penalty is an additional punishment (for corruption offences) imposed on the bribe taker to pay a sum which is equal to the amount of that gratification.