Customs officer jailed for receiving bribes

Fadley Faisal

A Customs Control Officer was jailed three years, penalised BND4,912 or serve an additional five months jail in default of payment, for 27 charges of accepting bribes as inducement to withhold from taking action against a person.

Chief Magistrate Pengiran Masni binti Pengiran Haji Bahar said on handing sentence to Haji Mohammad Haikal bin Haji Suhaili that “aggravating factors in the case included the fact that the defendant instigated these criminal activities and also involved other customs officers to participate in his criminal activities and that the defendant was a public servant, who in any criminal behaviour, erodes public trust and confidence which should be strongly condemned and a deterrent sentence must be imposed to send a clear message to other enforcement agencies that corruption in any form will not be tolerated.”

The defendant had accepted from BND50 to BND500 as inducement or reward in his capacity as a Customs Control Officer from an individual to not take action against him for committing offences under the Customs Order, 2006.

Anti-Corruption Bureau investigations revealed that the offences were committed between October 24, 2017 and March 4, 2018.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor Hafizah binti Ahmad’s facts of the case revealed that the defendant was posted at the Sungai Tujoh Control Post in 2017, where among his tasks were to inspect vehicles and goods entering Brunei Darussalam from Miri and to ensure that goods requiring declarations were declared.

The defendant had a standing arrangement with the person, for payment in return for assistance in ensuring that contraband goods including alcohol and cigarettes easily entered Brunei without being declared.

Investigations revealed that by the end of 2017 the defendant was no longer stationed at the Sungai Tujoh Control Post, but he continued to provide assistance to the person with the smuggled goods going through Sungai Tujoh Control Post by obtaining information.