Former Singapore Customs officer, Jonathan Sasayiah, 31, was sentenced to three months’ jail in a ruling in Singapore’s State Courts on Monday (May 15) for attempting to obtain bribes in the form of intimate acts from a cigarette smuggler, as reported in TodayOnline.
It was noted that Sasayiah had been sending several text messages since July 2014 to a woman who was found in possession of contraband cigarettes, seeking gratification in the form of intimate acts.
“His conduct was bridled with a cloak of purported sympathy for her financial predicament, but this was ultimately done to obtain intimate acts from her,” said Navin Naidu, deputy public prosecutor, arguing for at least five months’ jail to be imposed on the accused.
Despite being a public servant and law enforcement officer at the time, Sasayiah had abused his authority and had caused the woman great discomfort by seeking sexual favours, said the prosecutor. The accused had also attempted to conceal his acts by deleting the text messages, he added.
Defence lawyer Patrick Fernandez, however, argued that his client should only be fined up to S$10,000. “While Sasayiah’s conduct may have tarnished the Government’s image as being transparent and fair in all dealings, he was only a low-ranking officer and should not have caused serious damage to the reputation of public service institutions,” he added.
As a conclusion, district judge Michelle Yap noted that regardless of whether Sasayiah was remorseful or simply trying to destroy evidence by deleting the text messages he had sent to the woman, he intended to put a stop to his wrongdoing. He also did not receive the gratification that he had sought, she further added, as stated in a report by The Straits Times.
Thus, the accused was offered a two-week deferment as well as a bail of S$15,000. Usually, for attempting to obtain a bribe, the accused would be jailed for up to five years, fined a maximum of S$10,000 or both.