39-year-old Kenny Cheong Chyuan Lih, an experienced policeman, forged 15 investigations papers for traffic accidents for his “own convenience”, of which 14 cases involved fatalities, according to The Straits Times.
He was sentenced to 4 years and 2 months imprisonment on Thursday after pleading guilty to 12 charges of forgery, with 28 other charges being considered during his sentencing.
Cheong, a station inspector who served as an investigation officer in the Traffic Police’s Fatal Accident Investigation Team, has been suspended since 27 December 2018.
He forged 40 documents which resulted in 2,501 investigation papers having to be reviewed; 8 coroner’s inquiries had to be reopened as well.
However, deputy public prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran said the forgeries had caused no wrongful convictions, and all 8 of the affected coroner’s inquiries have since completed their rehearings, which were handled by the former state coroner Marvin Bay.
Among the cases affected by Cheong’s forgery was the fatal hit-and-run accident along Martin Road near River Valley Close in April 2016, where Kasmani Ahmat was driving a lorry that hit a man and caused his death.
The document for that accident was referred to as V1, and Cheong had then recommended that the AGC charge Kasmani under the Penal Code and Road Traffic Act.
The then-Assistant Public Prosecutor Lim Yu Hui assessed the investigation paper and felt that more investigations were needed and issued directions for further investigations in August 2016.
Instead of complying, Cheong created a “charging minute” under Lim’s name and falsely stated that APP Lim concluded that it was Kasmani’s lorry that ran over V1 and that she was directing Kasmani to be charged.
For context, charging minutes are the official correspondence in which the AGC directs the police to press charges against an accused person in court after assessing that there is enough evidence against him.
Kasmani was charged in September 2019 and the matter was then assigned to the then-Assistant Public Prosecutor Andrew Low, who discovered the forgery and reported it to the management of the AGC.
Investigations into Cheong’s criminal offences were then started by the Internal Affairs Office of the Singapore Police Force in March 2019, and he was found to have forged numerous documents.
At the time time, Kasmani also admitted to his offences and was jailed 8 weeks in 2018.
Cheong is currently out on a bail of $15,000 and is expected to surrender himself to that court on 6 April to being his prison sentence.