Indian Bribed Worker At Singapore Airport To Smuggle Gold, Convicted

Gopal Krishna Raju had a side business purchasing gold in Singapore and sending it to Chennai for it to be sold there.

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Indian Bribed Worker At Singapore Airport To Smuggle Gold, Convicted

An Indian pleaded guilty to bribing a compatriot worker at Singapore airport (Representational)


Singapore: 

A 37-year-old Indian in Singapore on Friday pleaded guilty to bribing a compatriot worker at the Changi Airport to underreport the weight of passenger bags with gold in it for sale in India, media reports said.

Gopal Krishna Raju, a manager in a food processing company, bribed at least SGD 800 to Patel Hiteshkumar Chandubhai, who worked as a customer service associate for logistics service provider UBTS at the airport, between January and October 2016 to under-report the weight of baggage with his gold in it, Channel News Asia reported.

Patel's responsibilities at the work place included assisting passengers at boarding gates and check-in counters for Tigerair flights.

Patel's offence came to light after Singapore Airport Terminals Services conducted an internal investigation following a report published in the NewPaper on July 13 last year, claiming that a baggage-touting syndicate was operating at Changi Airport.

Later, Patel was ordered a jail term of eight weeks and fined SGD 800 in April this year for accepting the bribe.

Gopal Krishna Raju had a side business purchasing gold in Singapore and sending it to Chennai for it to be sold there.

Instead of using a courier service, Gopal Krishna Raju looked for passengers travelling to Chennai, including strangers or his own friends, and asked if they were willing to carry gold to Chennai for his relatives.

His relatives would then pay the passengers an unidentified sum of money.

During the hearing, Gopal Krishna Raju's lawyer said he would be asking for a fine, but the judge said "he's not going to get a fine" and adjourned sentencing to September 23, the Straits Times reported.

Gopal Krishna Raju faces a maximum jail term of five years, a fine of up to SGD 100,000, or both.

The prosecution asked for a term of eight weeks' jail to be imposed, saying that the harm in this case goes "far beyond the lost excess baggage fees".



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