S'porean man, 39, allegedly took S$1,200 from 4 inmates to smuggle sedatives into Changi Prison

If convicted of corruption, the men could each be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to five years, or both, for each offence.

Matthias Ang | Fiona Tan | November 18, 2022, 11:21 AM

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Five Singaporean men were charged with corruption on Nov. 18, 2022.

Epam pills smuggled into Changi Prison

The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said in a Nov. 18 statement that it received information about contraband Epam pills allegedly being smuggled into Changi Prison.

Epam pills contain nitrazepam, which is a medicine with sedative effects used in the treatment of conditions including insomnia -- trouble or difficulty in sleeping -- and sleeping disorders.

A 39-year-old Singaporean, Calvin Ang Wei Sheng, had allegedly smuggled the sedative pills for four Singaporean male inmates.

At the time, Ang worked for SPS's vendor, New Hope Food Industries Pte Ltd, and his role was a prison workshop supervisor.

The four inmates were charged with corruption along with Ang. They are:

  • Ismail Bin Musun Mollah, 56;
  • Irees Bin Rahman, 49;
  • Sidek Bin Jamaludin, 42; and
  • Muhammad Shaifullah Bin Ab Latif, 36.

Contraband pills found during search

SPS conducted internal investigations to verify the information.

Ang was barred from entering SPS’s premises and the four inmates who were allegedly involved were isolated from other inmates.

SPS uncovered some of the contraband pills during their search of the workshop, the inmates' cells, and common areas.

They lodged a police report and referred the case to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) for further investigation.

SPS said it has security measures to screen personnel and goods entering prison premises, including metal detectors and random frisk searches.

"SPS adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards the smuggling of items into prison premises. All such cases will be investigated, and all persons, including vendors and inmates, if found guilty, will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law," said SPS in its statement.

Ang received S$1,200 from four inmates

In a Nov. 17 press release, CPIB said Ang allegedly received a total of S$1,200 worth of gratifications from Ismail, Irees, Sidek, and Shaifullah over five occasions between September and October 2021.

The four inmates allegedly gave Ang the money as a reward to purchase and smuggle Epam pills into Changi Prison for them.

Charged on Nov. 18

The five men appeared in court on Nov. 18 for their charges to be read to them.

Ang's charges

Ang appeared in court physically in a black t-shirt, wearing spectacles and a black mask.

He was accompanied by a bespectacled woman with short hair, wearing a black t-shirt.

He received five charges for corruptly receiving gratification as an inducement or reward, for the purchase and smuggling of Epam pills into Changi Prison.

The charges are:

  • Receiving S$200 from Ismail on Sep. 5, 2021,
  • Receiving S$300 from Ismail on Oct. 13, 2021,
  • Receiving S$200 from Irees on Oct. 8, 2021,
  • Receiving S$200 from Sidek on Oct. 19, 2021,
  • Receiving S$300 from Shaifullah on Oct. 26, 2021.

The woman was seen consoling Ang after he walked away from the stand.

Ang is planning to plead guilty and has no plans to engage legal counsel.

He is also out on bail at S$5,000.

He will return to court on Jan. 12, 2023.

If convicted of corruption, Ang faces a fine of up to S$100,000 or a jail term of up to five years or both.

Inmates' charges

The four inmates were charged with corruptly giving gratification as an inducement or reward.

Ismail was handed two charges while the rest of the inmates – Irees, Sidek and Shaifullah – were given one charge each.

Charge sheets for Ismail showed that he had passed S$200 and S$300 to Ang on two different occasions for purchasing and smuggling Epam pills into prison.

As for Irees and Sidek, both of them had each passed S$200 to Ang, while Shaifullah was shown to have passed him S$300.

All four of them pleaded guilty to their charges.

They will return to court on Jan. 12.

No bail was granted as these men are currently serving their sentences.

If convicted of corruption, the men face a S$10,000 fine, jail for up to five years, or both, for each offence.

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