Man on trial for trying to bribe police officer in Singapore with S$1,000 after drink-driving

Chong Wei Kwong (pictured) faces three charges of offering gratification to an agent, drink-driving and failing to exercise care while driving in December 2018. — TODAY pic
Chong Wei Kwong (pictured) faces three charges of offering gratification to an agent, drink-driving and failing to exercise care while driving in December 2018. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Oct 13 — A 49-year-old man is on trial for trying to bribe a policeman with S$1,000 (RM3,056) after drunkenly reversing his car into a door while getting out of a car park.

Chong Wei Kwong faces three charges of offering gratification to an agent, drink-driving and failing to exercise care while driving on Dec 14, 2018.

He was working as a principal project manager at an engineering firm at the time.

The prosecution opened its case yesterday, playing footage from the body-worn camera of the officer whom Chong allegedly tried to bribe. The officer also testified in court.

That evening, Chong was driving out of a multi-storey car park at the PoMo mall located along Selegie Road in Dhoby Ghaut. 

Frustrated that he could not get through an exit gantry, he reversed and hit a nearby staircase door.

After the door fell to the ground, the mall’s security supervisor got to the scene and Chong asked him not to call the police.

The guard ignored his request.

Two police officers turned up about 10 minutes later and Chong failed a breathalyser test, which showed that he had 76 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath — more than twice the prescribed limit of 35 micrograms.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Genevieve Pang told the court that in 2001, Chong was fined S$2,000 and banned from driving for 15 months for a drink-driving offence.

The prosecutor said that she would submit to the court statements that Chong gave to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau after his arrest at the mall. He had admitted to offering the bribe to the policeman because he did not want to be arrested for drink-driving.

Yesterday, the police officer, Staff Sergeant Low Wee Meng, testified that Chong first challenged them by saying that they did not have evidence that he was in the car.

He had already alighted when the officers got to the scene.

“I told him it’s okay, I will get my partner to check the CCTV (closed-circuit television) footage. He told me he drank half a bottle of liquor and wanted to leave early,” the policeman added.

He conducted “quite a few” breathalyser tests because Chong “did not try to give a proper blow”.

Chong later told Staff Sergeant Low that he would withdraw S$1,000 from an ATM anytime. 

“He said it’s meant for me I immediately radio-ed back to the (police operations room) and said that the accused tried to bribe me with S$1,000 and I’m going to place him under arrest,” he added.

During cross-examination, Chong’s lawyer Muhammed Riyach Hussain Omar put it to the officer that what Chong meant was that he would pay S$1,000 to the mall’s management for the damaged door.

Staff Sergeant Low disagreed.

The trial continues today and tomorrow.

If convicted of trying to bribe the officer, Chong could be jailed up to five years or fined up to S$100,000, or both.  —  TODAY

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