Singapore jails Chinese traveller who tried to bribe her way onto flight to Amsterdam


A Chinese woman tried to bribe officials at Singapore’s Changi Airport with around US$50 each to let her onto a flight to Amsterdam without a valid visa, a court heard.
Zeng Xiuying, 52, and her companion Wu Zhangwang had arrived in Singapore on a flight from Koh Samui, Thailand, on the afternoon of October 16.
The pair of Chinese nationals were in transit, with plane tickets for a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight that was headed to the Netherlands at 12.40am on October 17.
Travellers walk through the transit area of Changi Airport in SIngapore. Photo: Getty Images

But they were denied entry to the boarding area after being screened at the departure gate by Suriah Samsi, a KLM agent employed by Sats Security Services, who found that they did not possess valid visas. The airline also decided not to allow the pair to board the flight.

Zeng and Wu were told by a Mandarin speaker, Certis Cisco officer Ronald Michael Jansen, that they would not be permitted to board and had to contact the airline for more details.

But Jansen later noticed that both Zeng and Wu were still near the departure gate, talking to other auxiliary police officers, and decided to approach them again.

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When he was near the pair, Zeng put her hand around his shoulder and gave him around US$50, the court heard, asking him to help her speak to the airline to let her board the flight.

Jansen repeatedly refused the money and told her that he could not take it.

He went to the counter to check again whether Zeng and her companion could board the flight, but the staff there reiterated that they could not.

When he returned to speak to Zeng, she gave him her travel itinerary with a bundle of US dollar notes concealed in it. Jansen again rejected the money and left.

At some point later, while the pair were still near the departure gate, Suriah asked for Zeng’s passport to ascertain her travel history.

Zeng passed the KLM agent her passport along with at least US$50 concealed underneath and asked Suriah to “help her” in Mandarin. The KLM agent rejected the money.

KLM planes seen parked at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Zeng had been attempting to board a KLM flight from Singapore to the Netherlands when she was arrested. Photo: Reuters

Zeng was subsequently arrested for attempted bribery.

During investigations, Zeng admitted that she had tried to bribe both officers so that they could help her and her companion board the KLM flight to Amsterdam.

However, she claimed that she had offered them only a single US$50 note – which was seized from her for investigations.

In court, Zeng, who was unrepresented, pleaded for a lighter sentence as she claimed that she gave the officers the money so that they could help her ask the airline for the reason she could not board the plane. She added that this was her first time overseas.

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On Wednesday, Zeng was sentenced to four weeks’ jail after pleading guilty to offering a gratification to an agent under Singapore’s Prevention of Corruption Act.

Another similar charge was taken into consideration during sentencing.

She could have been jailed for up to five years or fined up to S$100,000 (US$73,300), or both.


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