Two men fined more than $33,000 in total for cheating LTA in trailer weighing ruse, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Two men fined more than $33,000 in total for cheating LTA in trailer weighing ruse

Two drivers in an engineering company worked together to cheat the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a ruse involving metal beams being welded onto a trailer to make it heavier so it could pass inspection.

The modified trailer was then used for multiple inspections.

In a statement on Tuesday (March 22), the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said that all newly manufactured trailers must pass the registration inspection before they are allowed onthe roads.

On 21 occasions between October 2010 and April 2012, the Singaporean men duped the LTA into believing that the company's trailers were compliant with the approved technical drawings when they were not.

At the time of the offences, the men were working for Sin Trans Engineering, which manufactures and repairs trailers.

Loh Yeok Lum, 67, was fined $17,500 on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of cheating. Seventeen other charges were considered during sentencing.

The other offender, Chua Cheng Kang, 65, admitted to seven cheating charges and was fined $15,750.He had 14 other charges taken into consideration during sentencing.

In its statement, the CPIB said that as drivers employed by Sin Trans, the pair's duties included sending newly manufactured trailers to JIC Inspection Services for registration inspection.

JIC, a subsidiary of testing laboratories company Vicom, is one of LTA's authorised inspection centres with weighing facilities.

The CPIB said the inspection includes weighing the trailer to ensure its unladen weight is within acceptable margins of what is specified in the approved technical drawings.

Investigations by the CPIB revealed that in 2010, Sin Trans' trailers failed their registration inspections as they were found to be lighter than what was stated in the approved technical drawings.

The bureau added: "In order to pass the inspection, Loh purchased two metal beams - one weighing one tonne and another at 300kg - and arranged to weld the metal beams onto the trailer to increase its weight to the required range.

"With this method, the said trailer managed to pass the inspection. Loh would often pass off the same trailer, which he had welded the beams to, for multiple other Sin Trans trailers' inspection."

To successfully perpetuate this deception, Loh would also alter the chassis number of the modified trailer.

Loh then explained this method to Chua, who drove the modified trailer for inspection and witnessed the weighing.

After using this method for about six months, Loh started to weigh part of a prime mover together with the underweight trailers in order to pass the inspection. Loh also shared this method with Chua.

CPIB investigations revealed that Loh had also engaged in a conspiracy with two JIC inspection officers to cheat the LTA into issuing registration approval codes for Sin Trans trailers on three occasions in February 2014.

For each count of cheating, an offender can be jailed for up to three years and fined.