An Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) inspector abused his position and performed unauthorised checks on foreign women entering the country, because he allegedly wanted to make friends.
The officer, 31-year-old Yeo Kian Boon, received a fine of $29,000 after he pleaded guilty to six counts of performing such checks and one count of abetting a coworker to do the same, in court yesterday. 16 other charges were considered, as well.
Yeo is no longer employed with the ICA after he was busted for the offences. He had been working as an ICA team leader at Changi Airport Terminal 1 (T1) where he abused his access to computer systems that were only supposed to be used for work purposes.
Yeo was caught after he tried calling one of the women he had made unauthorised checks on when she came through the T1 arrival hall while he was on duty. Yeo added the woman, a Thai national, added her on a messaging app and began calling her.
The woman rejected Yeo’s calls but made a video call to his number on 22 Dec to find out who the man calling her was. When the woman saw Yeo’s face, she was surprised to find that Yeo was the officer who cleared her at the airport.
The woman alerted her Singaporean boyfriend and subsequently contacted the ICA to lodge a complaint.
Yeo’s defense team argued that their client’s intentions were “naive and innocent.” Defense lawyers representing Yeo added that the ICA gave Yeo a warning in lieu of prosecution and that their client has since left the organisation.
The ICA commented on the case in a media statement: “We take a serious view of errant officers and those who break the law will be dealt with in a firm and fair manner, in accordance with the law.”