SINGAPORE – A full-time national serviceman working for the Traffic Police duped his junior into using a police computer system to perform an unauthorised screening on a man as a favour for a friend.
Mr Joseph Yeo Peng Siong was told by Royce Phua Tai Da to use a system known as “Crimes-2” to find information on Mr Desmond Chu Guan Quan.
Phua lied to Mr Yeo, 22, and gave him Mr Chu’s NRIC’s number, claiming it was for work-related purposes. Mr Yeo did as he was told.
Phua then snapped a picture of the result before forwarding it to his friend and former TP NSman Ivan Sim Jun Jie, 23.
Phua, 24, was fined $3,000 on Wednesday (Dec 19) after pleading guilty to an offence under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act.
The court heard that Phua and Mr Yeo have since completed their NS.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Jingxi said that the main function of Crimes-2 is to aid police criminal investigations. It contains statements, investigation papers and offenders’ criminal histories.
All full-time NSmen posted to the TP are told that they should not use any Singapore Police Force computer systems to perform screenings for non-work-related purposes, the court heard.
In mid 2016, Mr Chu contacted Sim’s friend Joshua Woon Wei Ke, 23, and told him that he had some problems with a business partner.
DPP Tay said: “Desmond claimed that he was worried that this business partner would implicate him in some criminal wrongdoings. On his own accord, Woon decided to check Desmond’s criminal history to find out if Desmond had indeed been implicated by his business partner in such a manner.”
After this, Woon approached Sim who then contacted Phua.
Phua, in turn, approached Mr Yeo who screened Mr Chu’s NRIC number at around 3pm on July 14, 2016.
The offence came to light about two months later when police officers from the Specialised Crimes Branch arrested Woon over his alleged involvement in illegal gambling activities.
They searched his mobile phone and found the picture of the screening result which Phua had taken.
The cases involving Sim and Woon are still pending.
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