SINGAPORE: A former Changi prison officer was sentenced to 10 weeks' jail on Wednesday (Aug 24) for unlawfully accessing and communicating confidential information.
Muhammad Fattahullah Mohd Nordin pleaded guilty to two charges of accessing the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) computer system without authority to obtain confidential information on inmates’ locations and passing them to an inmate.
The inmate, Abdul Karim Mohamed Kuppai Khan, was supposedly the headman of a secret society, court documents showed.
In November 2020, SPS began internal investigations after several contraband items and a note containing confidential information were found in an inmate’s cell during a routine check.
The investigations revealed that two former prison officers had allegedly accessed and provided confidential information to the inmate on separate occasions.
According to court documents, Abdul Karim asked Fattahullah on at least five occasions between January and June 2020 for information about other inmates, including their locations.
Fattahullah admitted to providing the information in hopes that Abdul Karim, who was known to be disruptive, would not create problems for him during his night shifts.
SPS referred the case to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and interdicted the two prison officers from service. They both subsequently resigned.
"All SPS staff undergo training on the proper handling of confidential information," said SPS.
"Regular bulletins are also disseminated to SPS staff to emphasise the importance of securing confidential information, and the importance of remaining professional at all times when dealing with inmates."
The consequences of breaching these regulations are also clearly made known to SPS staff, it said, adding that it takes a serious view of any wrongful access and communication of confidential information.
"Any SPS staff found to have done so will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law, including being charged in court, as was done in this case," said SPS.
Court proceedings of the other former prison officer, Muhammad Zul Helmy Abdul Latip, who was charged with similar offences, are ongoing.