Law Catches Up with Fugitive Who Spent Over 20 Years On The Run
On 4 March 2020, Siva Kumar S/O Ramachandram (“Siva”), a 46-year-old Malaysian, was arrested by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (“CPIB”) with the help of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”). Siva who spent more than 20 years as a fugitive on the run, has been brought back to serve his sentence for immigration offences he committed in Singapore in 1999.
2. On 24 September 1999, Siva was convicted and sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment and 12 strokes of the cane for engaging in a conspiracy to smuggle illegal immigrants from Singapore into Malaysia through Woodlands Checkpoint. The conspiracy involved bribing a CISCO officer to allow buses ferrying the illegal immigrants to pass through the checkpoint without immigration clearance. Siva subsequently absconded from Singapore sometime in 1999 while he was released on Court bail pending appeal of his conviction and sentence. On 9 March 2000, a warrant of arrest was issued for Siva. The CISCO officer was convicted on 5 October 1999 and sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment and fined $2,800 for corruption.
3. CPIB investigations revealed that in October 1999, Siva departed Singapore for Malaysia in the vehicle of an unknown individual, “Boy”. “Boy” had produced a passport belonging to someone else to the immigration officer at Woodlands Checkpoint to mislead the immigration officer into believing Siva was someone else, thus facilitating Siva’s departure from Singapore. Subsequently, Siva, who had been released on court bail, failed to attend his Magistrate’s Appeal hearing on 9 March 2000 at the High Court of Singapore.
4. For his actions, Siva was charged on 16 April 2021 with offences punishable under the Immigration Act and the Penal Code. On 11 June 2021, Siva pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment with effect from the expiry of his existing sentence meted out in 1999.
5. The invaluable assistance and strong support by the MACC has resulted in Siva’s arrest on 4 March 2020. CPIB is grateful for the close collaboration with the MACC on this case to ensure that the offender was brought to justice and there was no escaping the long arm of the law.
6. Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and other criminal activities. CPIB’s mandate is to investigate into any act of corruption in the public and private sectors in Singapore, and in the course of doing so, any other offences under any written law. Any person who is convicted of knowingly producing any false or misleading document under the Immigration Act can be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years and be liable to a fine not exceeding $6,000. Any person who is convicted of failing to appear before a court of justice under the Penal Code can be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months and be liable to a fine up to $5,000.
Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau