The 65-year-old Malaysian driver who allegedly crashed through the security barrier at Woodlands Checkpoint and entered Singapore on Saturday is facing two charges.
Tan Chu Seng, who is also a Singapore permanent resident, is accused of committing two offences — one count of acting rashly and another of vandalism. Both were said to be committed on March 8 at about 4.03pm when he arrived from Malaysia.
He “travels almost daily” between Malaysia and Singapore, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Director Operations, Lau Peet Meng said at a joint media briefing conducted by the Singapore Police Force and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
At 4.05pm on 8 March, Tan, who was driving a gold-coloured, Singapore-registered Mercedes Benz deliberately drove off while undergoing customs boot check, thus injuring an officer, who tried to stop him from leaving, in the process. Although a security barrier was subsequently activated, he managed to crash his vehicle through the barrier, which was the first time this has ever happened, and entered Singapore.
The Mercedes Benz was found later at 8.30pm, while the Malaysian national was arrested at 9.15pm to assist in police investigations. However, authorities declined to comment where the car was found and where he was arrested.
On 10 March, Monday, when he arrived at the State Courts, Tan was all smiles as he greeted the media from the police car. He was arrested on Saturday some five hours after he allegedly breached security at Woodlands Checkpoint.
Tan was charged with one count of acting rashly, by driving his Singapore-registered car SKM 1396 through the barrier at Arrival Car Green Channel at Woodlands Checkpoint on March 8, according to court documents. He is also accused of recklessly causing injury to auxiliary police officer Safie Mahrom. For trying to escape vehicle inspection, Tan is also looking at a maximum penalty of a jail term of one year and S$5,000 fine.
Tan faces a second charge of vandalism for allegedly damaging government property when he drove his car onto the cat-claw security barrier, which had malfunctioned, just before he entered Singapore. If convicted of vandalism, he can be jailed up to three years or fined a maximum of S$2,000.
During the speedy court session, the prosecution asked for Tan to be further remanded in jail for one week to assist with police investigations. However, Tan requested to be remanded for only four days, citing health reasons including diabetes and hypertension.
His case will be mentioned again on March 17.