Ex-law firm exec who got contact details of accident victims from TP clerk jailed
A former executive at a law firm who got the contact details of 24 accident victims from a Traffic Police clerk in exchange for cash was on Friday (9 November) jailed for 18 months.
Over two years, from 2011 to 2013, Gulzar Raja Singh Sandhu, 71, gave Khatijah A. Manap, 63, at least $2,500 – about $200 for each contact who eventually engaged his former employer, Clifford Law.
At the State Courts on Friday, Singh Sandhu pleaded guilty to eight charges of wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act and three counts of corruption.
Another 16 charges of the former, five counts of the latter, and one charge of abetment in perverting the course of justice were considered in sentencing.
Accused offered TP clerk to work with him
In 2008, Khatijah, who was in charge of recording the movement of Traffic Police investigation papers, got into a traffic accident and was referred to Singh Sandhu by a relative of hers. In turn, he introduced her to his daughter, a lawyer at Clifford Law.
Khatijah told Singh Sandhu that she was working in the Traffic Police investigation branch. She had also seen him a few times at work, when he went there to buy official copies of traffic reports.
In 2010, after Khatijah had received the payout for her accident claim, Singh Sandhu approached her at the Traffic Police headquarters and asked her to work with him.
A few days later, she agreed. Singh Sandhu told her that he would pay her $200 as promised at the end of every week.
Khatijah would randomly identity accident victims from the Traffic Police investigation papers that she handled. Once she had about four or five names, she would contact Singh Sandhu.
He would later tell her how many of these people had engaged his firm, and pay her in cash.
Offences came to light
Singh Sandhu and Khatijah’s offences came to light when a man who had been involved in an accident in early 2013 called the Traffic Police hotline to ask about the status of investigations into his crash. He was connected to Khatijah’s office line and left his particulars for a call-back.
Shortly after, he got a call from an “Azizah” claiming to be from Clifford Law. “Azizah” advised the man to consult Singh Sandhu’s daughter if he wished to seek compensation, and said she could arrange a meeting with a paralegal called Raja. But the man hung up the phone.
In early 2012, the man got into another traffic accident and was also contacted by an “Azizah” about seeking compensation after he had lodged a report about the crash. Singh Sandhu later went to the man’s home and told him that he had an arrangement to obtain contact details from someone at the Traffic Police for a fee. But the man told Singh Sandhu to leave and did not seek compensation though him.
Feeling angry after the call from “Azizah” in 2013, the man called Khatijah after he hung up on “Azizah” to ask why Khatijah had disclosed his number to an outsider. Khatijah then told him that she was “Azizah”.
The man made a police report about the offence.
In July 2016, Khatijah was sentenced to 18 weeks’ jail having pleaded guilty to three graft charges and five of wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act.
She admitted to five other corruption charges and 18 other wrongful communication charges which were considered in sentencing.
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