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Indian-origin prison warden convicted for seeking bribe in Singapore


Singapore, Nov 21
A 56-year-old Indian-origin prison warden has been convicted in Singapore for seeking bribes of SG$133,000 in exchange for transferring an inmate out of his jail cluster.

Kobi Krishna Ayavoo, who was also found guilty of instigating his colleagues to access the prison system to view the inmate's information, will return to court for sentencing in January, Channel News Asia reported.

The prosecution told the court that Kobi sought bribes from an inmate named Chong Keng Chye between September 2015 and March 2016 for paying his car loan instalments, house renovations, a birthday celebration and credit card bills.

Chong testified that Kobi had promised to help him get a transfer out of Changi Prison's A1 cluster -- a maximum-security prison for offenders who have been given lengthy sentences -- in return for cash.

A fellow inmate also testified about how Chong had told him about giving money to a prison employee in exchange for help.

He said he noticed Kobi pass by his cell many times every week to interact with Chong for about 10 minutes.

Chong was sentenced to 20 years' preventive detention in 2005 for abusing his girlfriend's son until the seven-year-old boy died.

Kobi denied asking for money from Chong on any of the eight occasions, and claimed that he spoke to him only during yard time, when there were always inmates within hearing distance.

He also claimed that Chong had lied in order to be transferred out of A1.

Kobi's employment with the Singapore Prison Service was suspended in 2017 after he was charged with seeking bribes.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang said Kobi took "great pains" to pretend at trial that he had not been financially stretched.

But his bank statements stated that Kobi finished spending his salary each month before the next month's salary came in between August 2015 and March 2016, sometimes having a negative balance.