A 38-year-old man from China was sentenced to eight weeks’ jail in Singapore on 18 Jul 2022 for trying to bribe three traffic police officers with S$100, saying that it was “coffee money”.
According to The Straits Times (ST), Han Shaolu tried to bribe the officers in 2019 in exchange for letting him off after he was suspected of drink-driving.
He claimed that the money he offered was meant as payment for a fine, but the prosecution proved that he knew his actions were corrupt and that he was consciously offering a bribe.
The Chinese national was convicted at the end of a five-day trial on three charges of corruption.
Tried to Use S$100 to Get Off the Hook
On 3 Dec 2019, at around 11:30pm, two officers were dispatched to an open-air carpark in Geylang Lorong 31 to attend to a possible case of drink-driving.
As Han reeked of alcohol, Sgt Shakir went to retrieve a breathalyser while SSgt Roslan stayed to attend to the Chinese man. It was then that Han took out two S$50 notes from his wallet along with his identification cards and waved them in front of the officers.
The officers called Sergeant Lum Zheng Yao to help translate what Han was saying. Sgt Lum understood that the S$100 was an offer to SSgt Roslan and Sgt Shakir to “let him off and give him a chance”, and “if $100 is not enough, [Han could] increase it to $150”, ST reported.
Even Offered the “Coffee Money” to the Officers’ Team Leader
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Tan Jia Ming, the team leader of the officers, was informed of the incident and went to the carpark to speak to Han. ASP Tan then questioned Han, asking if he had offered money to his officers, to which Han said he did. He added that it was a trivial matter and asked to be let go.
Han even offered S$100 to ASP Tan, saying that the money is not a bribe because, in China, the amount had to be in the thousands of dollars before being considered a bribe. He was then informed by ASP Tan that even 20 cents was
While the breathalyser test results indicated that Han was still legally allowed to drive, he was arrested for bribery.
Investigations later found that he was in a hurry to return to China the next day – and that the attempt to bribe the officers was to ensure his return to China was smooth and not impeded by any ongoing investigations against him.