Monday, January 31, 2011

Philippines Becoming Southeast Asia’s Terror Hotspot according to FTI-International Risk

Not so good news about the Philippines compared to its Southeast Asian neighbors.


Bloomberg: The Philippines has overtaken Indonesia and Thailand as the country facing the greatest threat from terrorism, according to FTI-International Risk, a security consultancy.

While the Philippines has made progress in containing the threat from armed groups such as the Abu Sayyaf, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and New Peoples’ Army, it lagged behind other countries in the region, FTI-International Risk’s Chairman Steve Vickers said in a report released today.

The U.S. State Department renewed its travel warning for the Philippines on Nov. 2, citing an October bus bombing that killed 10 people and warning attacks could extend “to include Manila.” Philippines ranks 130 out of 149 countries in the 2010 Global Peace Index compiled by the Sydney-based Institute of Economics & Peace. Thailand ranked 124, and Pakistan 145.

“Pakistan, southern Thailand and southern Philippines are the places where, unless you have a very compelling reason, you should not be going without professional support,” Vickers, who formerly commanded the Hong Kong Police Criminal Intelligence Bureau, said in a phone interview today.

Indonesia’s counter-terrorism program was successful in 2010, he said. Little progress had been made in tackling an insurgency in southern Thailand because the government there was distracted by violent protests in Bangkok, the FTI report said.

FTI-International Risk is a subsidiary of Palm Beach, Florida-based FTI Consulting Inc. that offers investigation and security consultancy services.

Isolated Trouble

The trouble in the Philippines is largely isolated in the south of the country, and while the government has made progress in suppressing the Abu Sayyaf, “in quiet times, you see them going back to what they do best, which is small-scale kidnapping and ransom,” Vickers said. “Some of it is purely criminal and has no link to terror groups,” he said.

Edwin Lacierda, a spokesman for Philippines President Benigno Aquino, said the report overstated the threat.

“It’s a matter of perception,” Lacierda said at a regular televised briefing. “The threat is not as grave as the think tank assesses it.”

The southern Philippine island of Mindanao is home to the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf and a stronghold for the military wing of the Communist Party, the New People’s Army, both branded terror organizations by the U.S.

Between 2005 and 2010, 1,536 people were killed in terror attacks in the Philippines, including those staged by the two groups, according to the U.S. National Counter-Terrorism website.

Two days ago, suspected Muslim militants killed five businessmen in the southern Philippine province of Basilan, Xinhua news service reported, citing an official.

Xstrata Attacks

Communist rebels have staged attacks on mining assets in the Philippines, derailing the government’s plan to attract overseas investors. At least two attacks on Xstrata Plc’s Tampakan copper project in Mindanao were staged in 2008.

The NPA has a policy of imposing taxes on state and private infrastructure projects within the areas of its operations, Satur Ocampo, a co-founder of the National Democratic Front, an alliance of organizations including the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines, said in a 2009 interview. He declined to give an estimate of the tax collected.

A study three years earlier by Philippine Institute for Development Studies put the levy at between 5 percent and 10 percent.

Bombing cellular phone towers and other infrastructure is a way for rebels to assert their authority, Ocampo said.

‘Plain Banditry’

“It’s one form for the revolutionary government to demonstrate its political and military authority, to deliver a message to the contractors,” Ocampo said. “Of course, the government claims this is plain banditry.”

President Benigno Aquino’s government said in December the government will ensure security in mining sites and that the NPA’s extortion threatens investment.

The armed conflict in Mindanao between the government and the Muslim rebels resulted in an economic loss of more than $10 billion between 1975 and 2002, according to the World Bank.

The International Risk report’s findings “might affect the new investors” who rely on risk consultancy firms, said Earl Parreno, an analyst at the Institute for Political and Economic Reforms in Manila.

Aquino, who started his six-year term in June, vowed to fight corruption and bolster investments as he seeks to expand the economy by at least 7 percent starting this year. His government plans to pitch to investors more than 700 billion pesos ($15.9 billion) of road, port and railway projects.

source: Bloomberg
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SBS Transit Bus struck by falling tree along Upper Thomson Road

AN SBS bus that had stopped at a bus stop along Upper Thomson Road to pick up passengers was struck by a falling tree on Saturday afternoon.

Bus captain Oh Yew Boon stands by his bus that was hit by a falling tree when he stopped at a bus-stop along Sembawang Road heading towards Thomson Road.


The police received a call at 4.35pm about the accident, which happened near Nee Soon Road. A spokesman said the tree had fallen onto a bus stop and a stationary bus that was in the bus bay. It had been raining at the time.

The bus' captain Oh Yew Boon said there were about 20 passengers on board the bus then, although no one was injured.

Officers from NParks subsequently arrived at the scene to extricate the fallen tree from the bus.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bridge under construction at Punggol The Waterway collapses

A partially completed bridge at the construction site collapsed under the weight of rainwater on Sunday morning as reported by reader Simon Low to ST who took and sent in a picture from his flat in Block 638b Punggol Drive.

In an email report to ST, Mr Low said “This morning, I noticed part of the bridge had collapsed due to the heavy rain.”

“I believe the bridge also acted as a dam, but the water overflowed (from the right side) the partially built bridge, and pushed the bridge away.”

“The banks of the waterway on the right side of the bridge overflowed due to this morning's heavy rain. I wonder whether it will happen again once the waterway is fully completed.”

Flooding along Airport Boulevard

Two lanes along Airport Boulevard were closed on Sunday morning due to flooding along Airport Boulevard, leaving two passable.

However, flood waters cleared by noon, and the lanes have been reopened to traffic, confirmed the police.

Flooding at the junction of Tampines Avenue 12 & 9

The junction at Tampines Avenue 12 & 9 were closed at noon on Sunday afternoon because of flooding. One lane has been reopened to traffic so far.

Heavy Rains, Floods in Singapore

FLOODS have returned to Singapore amid heavy, incessant rain since Saturday.

Readers of The Straits Times Online have been sending in reports of flooding, which seem mostly concentrated in the eastern part of Singapore.

Awakening Cryztalrella wrote on The Straits Times’ Facebook fanpage: ‘Flooding along the whole road at Bedok Town park towards Bedok North Ave 3, i.e. after the PIE overhead bridge towards B07 Bus stop (Bus 18, 28, etc). It has become inaccessible during heavy downpour.’

On Twitter, quelynxandever and iamsurebbyrz reported flooding at the Singapore Expo, and Loyang Avenue near Changi prison.

User CW of citizen journalism site STOMP also sent in pictures of a flooded carpark at Tampines Street 32, which showed it submerged in water.

CW wrote: ‘The basement carpark was flooded during these two days of non-stop rain.’

On their website, the National Environment Agency said widespread moderate to heavy rain is expected between 11.30am and midnight on Sunday.

If you are affected by floods or know of places that are, we would greatly appreciate your telling us. Please send pictures and information to

Singapore hit by “costly to prevent” floods

Singapore Flood

“Freak floods that happens only once in 50 years” according to Minister for Environment Mr Yaacob Ibrahim, have hit Singapore again on early Saturday morning for the 4th time in 2 months this year, not ‘once in 50 years as suggested’.

01Affected areas include Braddell Road, Changi Road, Joo Chiat, Telok Kurau,  Geylang and Bukit Timah, where trees were uprooted and rising floodwaters stranded several drivers in their vehicles. Parts of Kallang and Tanjong Katong were also flooded.

The hardest hit areas were Braddell Road, Joo Chiat Terrace, Changi Road, Bukit Timah and Delfi in Orchard Road with water rising to waist level.

According to the Straits Times, waters rose to knee-high level at the Tessarina Condo in Bukit Timah area, flooding the basement carpark. Some cars were almost submerged in water, prompting frantic residents to move them out to drier grounds.

The same paper reported that 60 people were evacuated by Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel in 20 different places, including passengers who were stuck in an SBS bus along Upper Thomson Road.

There were further reports by Netizens of fallen trees along Dorset Road causing traffic congestion, shops badly damaged by the flood along Upper Thomson Road and a flooded carpark at the Delfi Orchard which was hit by the worst flooding in 26 years in June just less than a month ago.

Despite a public outcry over the incompetency of the PAP government to prevent the frequent floods which caused millions of dollars of losses, PM Lee remained nonchalant about the inconveniences and losses the frequent flooding have caused to ordinary Singaporeans and even appeared to chide Singaporeans for having overly high expectations.

Last month, in a speech made at Lower Seletar Reservoir which was widely reported by MSM, PM Lee tried to exonerate the PAP government from any blame by coming up with the “lameretest”  excuse that it is very “costly” to keep Singapore “flood-free.”

He claimed that given Singapore’s “tropical climate”, any attempt to “wipe out” flooding in Singapore would require plenty of money and land without providing any concrete evidence or statistics to substantiate his claims.

In a nutshell, PM Lee deems spending Public Money on preventing floods “costly” but have no reservation whatsoever on giving a Massive Pay Rise (expected to be more than 8% this year) to Singapore’s “betteretest” multi-millionaire PAP ministers, who are already the “higheretest” paid political leaders in the world.

Ironically, 66% of eligible Singaporeans voted for a ruling party thats only interested in spending Public Money to enrich themselves instead of safeguarding the life and property of Singaporeans.

Singapore military offers help with flood recovery

There has been another offer of overseas assistance for flood devastated Queensland.

A day after the United States said it is ready to help, Singapore has offered military assistance.

Flooding has affected large parts of the state, including Rockhampton where the Fitzroy River is expected to peak today.

About 6,000 Singapore Armed Forces troops conduct military exercises in Shoalwater Bay near Rockhampton every year.

Singapore’s Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean has written to Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter and Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith offering assistance.

Mr Teo says Singapore Air Force helicopters based at Oakey on the Darling Downs in southern Queensland as well as Singaporean soldiers can help if required.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Accepting Applications for 2011 Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Exam

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that it is now accepting applications for the 2011 Foreign Service Officers (FSO) Examination.

The FSO Exams will be held on the following dates:

  • Part I- Qualifying Test (20 Mar 2011)
  • Part II – Preliminary Interview (04 and 06 Jun 2011)
  • Part III – Written Examination (08 to 10 Jun 2011)
  • Part IV – Oral Examination (12 to 14 Oct 2011)
  • Part V – Psychological Examination (21-25 Nov 2011)

All parts of the examination will be conducted in the Philippines.

Applicants must meet the following basic criteria:

  • Filipino citizen
  • Less than thirty-five (35) years of age on 20 Mar 2011; and
  • In possession of a four (4) year bachelor’s degree.

The list of additional requirements and the application form for the examination may be downloaded from the Embassy website (click on the links below).

Those interested may submit their duly accomplished application forms, together with all necessary supporting documents, in person at Window 1 of the Embassy no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, 2 February 2011.  Application forms may also be submitted in person to the DFA Main Office until 5:00 pm on Friday, 11 February 2011.

Applications will not be accepted beyond the set deadline.

To download the Examination Announcement and list of requirements, click here.
To download the 2011 FSO Examination application form, click here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bureau of Immigration stops 21,000 ‘OFWs’ with tourist visas at NAIA

Photo of the Centennial terminal area at the N...

More than 21,000 prospective overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were stopped at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Aug. to Dec. last year as part of the government’s intensified campaign against human trafficking, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration said.

Immigration officer-in-charge Ronaldo Ledesma said the 21,709 persons who were offloaded from their flights all had tourist visas but intended to work upon reaching their destinations, putting them at risk with abuses, exploitation and even incarceration.

The BI started its drive against the so-called ‘tourist workers’ in August after Ledesma was appointed OIC.

The campaign, which was launched on orders of President Benigno Aquino III and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, aims to protect undocumented OFWs, most of whom are victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking syndicates.

Suspected tourist workers are barred from boarding their flights once they fail to show the necessary clearance and employment permits from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Lawyer Maria Antonette Bucasas, BI airport operations division chief, said most of the offloaded passengers were bound for traditional OFW destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Middle East.

Bucasas reported that of the total offloaded passengers, 11,990 were intercepted at the NAIA 1 terminal, 6,397 at the NAIA 3, and 3,322 were at the NAIA 2.

Ledesma said some offloading cases are being investigated by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) headed by Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar, who is also undersecretary in charge of the immigration bureau.

“Hopefully, the investigations will result in the successful prosecution and conviction of the illegal recruiters and human traffickers who victimized and enticed these passengers to leave without proper documentation," Ledesma said.

He vowed to pursue without letup the BI’s drive against trafficking not only at the NAIA but in other major ports of the country of as well.

The government’s anti-trafficking drive was prompted by a US State Department report released last year listing the Philippines in Tier 2 of its human trafficking watch list. The US government has threatened to suspend all non-humanitarian aid to all countries with serious trafficking problems including the Philippines.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Singapore Police advises public on variations of Phone Scams

Scammers are coming up with new and innovative phone scams to convince victims to part with their money. There are many variations to phone scams. The most common ones are the Lottery Scam, Kidnap Scam and Impersonation Scam.

Lottery Scams!
Tricksters may call from overseas, email or SMS the recipients, informing them that they have won prize money in a foreign lottery. The tricksters would request for an advance payment in order to process the claims for prizes.


Kidnap Scams!
Tricksters would claim that the recipient's loved one had been kidnapped and demand that a ransom be transferred to specific bank account. These fake threats are usually accompanied by sounds of cries for help in the background.


Impersonation Scams!
Tricksters would impersonate law enforcement officials, advising victims to remit or transfer money to designated bank accounts in order to exonerate themselves from alleged crimes. These common allegations include failure to appear in court in relation to one's involvement in money laundering and unlicensed money lending cases.


  1. The tricksters will impersonate foreign government officials such as the Interpol, Taiwan Police, China Police, etc.
  2. The tricksters will ask the victims for their personal information and bank account details for verification purposes. In some occasions, they were able to recite the victim's personal information or bank account number.
  3. The tricksters will send pre-recorded voice messages to the victims. The victims will need to press a number before their calls are answered by an operator. To lend credibility to their scams, the number that appeared on the recipient's phone reflects those belonging to local authorities such as:
    a. Supreme Court Quality Service Manager/ Enquiry Hotline: 63381034,
    b. CID Hotline: 64350000, or
    c. Police Emergency Hotline: 999
    This is commonly known as "Caller ID Spoofing", where advances in technology enable callers to lie about their identity through false numbers.


Lottery Scam

  • Ignore notifications of a win in a lottery or lucky draw when you had not purchased any lottery ticket or participated in any lucky draw.
  • Do not make any advance payment to claim any prize money. Winning a lucky draw or lottery does not require you to make any advance payment.
  • Do not entertain such SMSes and calls.
  • Be wary of get-rich-quick offers. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam.

Kidnap Scam

  • If the public receive kidnap scam calls, they should remain calm and try to contact their next-of-kin immediately. Should repeated attempts at contacting their loved-ones fail, they should then contact the police.
  • In addition, the public could pose questions to the kidnapper to verify the identity of the purportedly kidnapped victim, for instance, the number of family members staying together or whether there are pets in the house, to help them establish if the call is indeed genuine.

Impersonation Scam

  • Ignore any notification calls from unknown persons who claim to be government officials. All notices to attend court hearing would be notified by post or accompanied by an official letter.
  • Police or court officials would not ask anyone who is in connection with a criminal case to make any transfer of funds to unknown bank accounts.
  • Do not give your personal details such as NRIC and bank account numbers to anyone over telephone or e-mail.

Those who receive such calls may wish to pass on such information to the Police at a Neighbourhood Police Centre.


Monday, January 24, 2011

An interesting insight from Maria Ressa

An interesting insight from Maria Ressa, former Senior Vice-President, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Managing Director, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) & Before joining ABS-CBN, Ms. Ressa worked for Cable News Network (CNN) for nearly two decades, serving as Manila Bureau Chief from 1988-1995 and as Jakarta Bureau Chief from 1995-2005. As CNN’s lead investigative reporter in Asia, she specialized in investigating terrorist networks.

She recently moved  her base to Singapore and will be Author-in-Residence at the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research (PVTR).

Welcome to Singapore…

I sit on the bus and let my mind roam. Interesting. The city feels different.

I have been travelling in and out of Singapore for nearly two decades. I had a favorite room in my favorite hotel, a desk I always used in the airport lounge, a table at my favorite restaurant. I had habits – rituals that anchored me since news stories often pulled apart the fabric of my life.

People say Singapore is boring. For me, it was an oasis from the chaotic events of news. This was my transit stop in the early 90?s till I moved to Manila in 2005. In the last five years before I left CNN, I was in my Jakarta apartment a total of 90 days in a year. I was probably in my Singapore hotel room more days than that, but I was always caught in a flurry of activity.

Now that I’m moving here, Singapore feels different. I’m not parachuting in on a story with deadline pressures nor running around frantically contacting authorities to confirm stories here and around the region.

No longer rushing, I’m on a bus exploring a side of Singapore I was always too busy to see.

The facts I’d learned stayed with me – like authorities importing more than 600 varieties of palms as part of one of the world’s first environmental programs. Or the highway that could turn into an emergency runway for planes to evacuate its people – remnants of past conflicts.

A 600 sq km island-nation the size of Siquijor, Singapore planned its development so well that it grew upwards (and built skyscrapers) rather than kill the greenery. It brings in more than double its population in tourists annually with man-made attractions. Yet, it has trouble finding its own drinking water – it imports water from nearby Malaysia.

Now I feel the rhythm of life far from bustling central D10 or D11. I see details I’ve missed in the past, looking inside HDB apartments, visualizing one for me. (Did you know that more than 80% of Singaporeans live in public housing supplied by the government? Or that 8 in 10 Singaporeans OWN their own homes, the highest rate in the world? And that each building is mandated to have the exact proportions of ethnicity as the nation?)

I’m moving here in a few weeks, and it feels different. That’s my nugget for today.

Here’s the view from dinner – my welcome to a different Singapore marking another phase of my life.

The First Day

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Filipina Domestic Workers And Singaporean Employers Arrested For Operating Unlicensed Moneylending Business

A Land Rover Defender outside Raffles Hotel.

Acting on information received, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department conducted an operation on 11 January 2011 and busted two separate groups believed to be involved in issuing unlicensed loans to foreign domestic workers. A total of five persons aged between 28 and 69 years old were arrested in the operation.

The first group involved three persons, namely a 69-year-old male Singaporean and two Filipina domestic workers aged 28 and 36 years respectively. This group is suspected to have issued loans to more than 200 other Filipina domestic workers since June 2010.

The second group involved a 47-year-old female Singaporean and a 29-year old Filipina domestic worker. They are believed to have issued loans to about 40 domestic workers since January 2009.

The three Filipina suspects and the female Singaporean will be charged in Court on 13 January 2011 for offences under the Moneylenders Act. Investigations against the remaining suspect are still ongoing.

Under the Moneylenders Act, persons found guilty of operating or assisting in the operating of a loansharking business may be fined not less than $30,000 and up to $300,000 with mandatory imprisonment of up to four years and shall be liable for caning of up to six strokes.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beware: Robbers impersonating as Ministry of Manpower Officer

Jurong Police Division Headquarters at Jurong ...

A passer-by aided the Police in the arrest of three suspects who impersonated public servants to steal from a foreign worker.

On 11 Jan 2011 at about 8pm, the victim, a 28-year-old foreign worker was sitting at the void deck of Blk 666A Jurong West St 65 when three unknown men approached him. One of the men flashed a card and identified himself as a MOM officer stating that he wanted to check the victim’s belongings. The victim handed over his belongings but decided to call for the Police as he sensed that something was amiss. However, the man took away his hand phone and walked away. The victim tried to request for the return of his handphone but was stopped by another man.

At this juncture, the victim approached a 22-year-old passer-by for help. Upon seeing the passer-by call the Police on his phone, the three suspects immediately fled from the scene. Together with the victim, the public-spirited passer-by gave chase and managed to detain one of the suspects after a short chase. Police arrived shortly thereafter and took over custody of the suspect.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from Jurong Police Division managed to establish the identities of the other two suspects. Both suspects were subsequently arrested on 12 Jan 2011 at Jurong West and Woodlands respectively. The victim’s handphone was also successfully recovered. Preliminary investigations revealed that the three suspects are believed to be involved in other similar cases islandwide.

The three suspects, aged 21 to 25, will be charged in the Subordinate Courts on 13 Jan 2011 for offences of Impersonating as a Public Servant under Section 170 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which carries a jail term which may extend to 2 years, or with a fine, or both. In addition, they will also be charged for the offence of Theft under Section 379 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which carries a jail term of not more than 3 years and with a fine, or both. A Court Order will be sought to remand the suspects for further investigations.

Commander of Jurong Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Florence Chua, commended the passer-by for his public spiritedness. She added, “The arrest was made possible because of the assistance of the public-spirited individual. This reinforces the importance of a strong Police-community partnership in keeping our neighborhoods safe.”

Members of the public are advised to be wary of such perpetrators and to always verify the identity of persons claiming to be representatives of government agencies by calling the organizations concerned or checking their identification passes. If in doubt, members of the public should contact the Police for assistance immediately.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Singapore Police Arrested a 23-year-old Yishun Taxi Robber

Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Singapore.

Singapore Police have arrested a 23-year-old man who is believed to be involved in a case of taxi robbery at Yishun Ring Road.

On 6 December 2010 at about 3.20 am, a 48-year-old taxi driver reported that he had been robbed by an unknown man who was armed with a knife. The victim had picked up the suspect as a passenger along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 and dropped him off in the vicinity of Blk 414 Yishun Ring Road. Before alighting, the suspect informed the victim that he would return to pay him after withdrawing money from a nearby ATM. However, when the suspect returned, he took out a knife and robbed the victim of cash amounting to S$290/-.

Through extensive follow up investigations and protracted enquiries, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division managed to establish the suspect’s identity. On 11 January 2011 at about 8.00 am , the suspect was arrested in the vicinity of Yishun Ring Road.

The suspect will be charged in Court No. 26 on 13 January 2011 for Armed Robbery under Section 392 read with Section 397 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. If convicted, he faces a jail term of up to 14 years and shall be liable to a minimum of 12 strokes of the cane.

Commander of Ang Mo Kio Police Division HQ, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Hsu Sin Yun, commended his officers for their good investigative work. DAC Hsu also advised taxi drivers to be wary of suspicious persons boarding their taxis. When confronted, taxi drivers should remain calm, take note of the physical appearance and distinctive features of the perpetrator(s) and call for the Police as soon as possible.

source: Singapore Police

Monday, January 10, 2011

Two Filipino women jailed for conspiracy to cheat Standard Chartered Bank.

A branch of Standard Chartered Bank, located a...

Two Filipino women were jailed in Singapore for being part of a conspiracy to cheat Standard Chartered Bank.

One of them, Charon Legaspi Dimpas, was sentenced to 45 months behind bars for cheating the bank of nearly $760,000.

The 26-year-old former direct sales agent from telemarketing company, Touch & Tech, committed the offence between June and November 2009.

She pleaded guilty on Monday to eight charges while 88 other similar ones were taken into consideration.

The other woman, 39-year-old Maria Theresa Arenas Garcia, was sentenced to six months' jail for being part of the ruse.

Touch & Tech had been engaged by the bank to make calls to prospective applicants to market the unsecured credit facilities it offered.

Dimpas became part of a syndicate that illegally helped foreigners obtain the loans from the bank even though they were not eligible.

She forged her applicants' payslips by inflating their monthly incomes above the stipulated $60,000.

The court heard that their annual income has to be at least that amount to be eligible for the bank's credit facilities.

And because foreigners holding employment passes must have a minimum of one-year validity remaining on their working papers, Dimpas also forged letters of extension for employment to assist her applicants.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang told the court that Dimpas earned a commission of more than $8,000 from her 96 successful applications using the forged documents.

Ms Huang added that Dimpas was allegedly encouraged to do so by her former boss, Singaporean Abdul Karim Baba, who too was entitled to commissions and bonuses from the submissions to the bank.

It's believed Abdul Karim, 60, also helped check the forged documents and allegedly suggested to his subordinates, who were part of the scam, to darken the font and include some smudges to the forged documents to make them appear authentic.

Most of Dimpas' applicants were believed to be referrals provided by a 28-year-old Filipino technician, Mark Robert Fajilan Landicho. The latter is believed to have attracted applicants by placing an advertisement on a Filipino community online portal.

A post on pinoysg allegedly put up by him stated that he could help them process their applications for loans and credit cards from Standard Chartered Bank even if they did not earn the stipulated income.

It's believed he received $75 for each successful application.

Both Landicho and Abdul Karim have already been charged for allegedly taking part in the scam.

Garcia, one of the many applicants, submitted forged payslips and a bogus letter of extension for employment. In doing so, the administrative operation executive deceived the bank into giving her a loan of $10,500.

For the offences, the women could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined on each charge.

Link from the subordinate court hearing their case.


Monday, January 3, 2011

AKON Live at Singapore Indoor Stadium

Akon at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in C...

Akon is coming back…..


With worldwide sales of over seven million albums and certified gold & platinum status in over 23 countries, Grammy-nominated AKON is one of the most recognizable voices in music today. AKON boasts two multi-platinum albums and 21 Billboard Hot 100 songs, and is best known as the first artiste to hold both the one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard charts twice. Instrumental in discovering Lady Gaga. The Senegalese-American singe has had over 145 guest appearances featuring artistes such as Michael Jackson and Gwen Stefani.

AKON released his new album Freedom in 2 December 2008, which spawned 4four monster singles: "Right Now (Na Na Na)", "I'm So Paid" (featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy), "Beautiful" (featuring Kardinal Offishall and Colby O'Donis) and "We Don't Care?.

A singer-songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur, he has had six Grammy Awards nominations and has produced many hits for artists such as Lady Gaga, Colby O'Donis and Leona Lewis. Lady Gaga and T-Pain are two artists who were given their chance at fame by AKON.

AKON is now working on his fourth studio album, Stadium Music, of which some tracks are produced by David Guetta. The album's lead single, "Angel", will be released to US radio stations on September 14, 2010.

AKON has established the Konfidence Foundation. This is a non-profit organization which is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the conditions in Africa and empowering individuals with the tools needed to build the Africa of tomorrow.


DATE: 8 Jan 2011
Sat, 8pm

DURATION: Approx 2 hrs

VENUE(S): Singapore Indoor Stadium

Cost: Standard (Free Standing) - S$148
Standard (Reserved Seating) - S$158, S$128, S$108, S$88

Add to above price $3 Booking Fee per ticket for tickets above $20 and $1 Booking Fee per ticket for tickets $20 and below. Charges include GST where applicable