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CNB officers in urine sample swapping conspiracy get jail

Muhammad Zuhairi Zainuri, who has since resigned, purportedly wanted to deal with the drug offender quickly to avoid unnecessary paperwork.

CNB officers in urine sample swapping conspiracy get jail

Abdul Rahman Kadir and Muhammad Zuhairi Zainuri. (File photos: Gaya Chandramohan, Rauf Khan)

SINGAPORE: Two Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers who were in a conspiracy to swap the urine sample of a man undergoing a drug test were sentenced on Thursday (Nov 24).

Abdul Rahman Kadir, 46, was given two years' jail, while Muhammad Zuhairi Zainuri, 34, received 22 months' imprisonment.

Both were convicted in September of one count each of obstructing the course of justice by engaging in a conspiracy to tamper with Maung Moe Min Oo's urine sample in August 2018.

A third CNB officer, Staff Sergeant Mohamed Hafiz Lan, who provided the "clean" urine, pleaded guilty to his role and was handed one-and-a-half years' jail in 2020.

The prosecution's case was that Maung Moe Min Oo was detained at Woodlands Checkpoint with a woman on suspicion of consuming drugs on Aug 15, 2018.

Maung Moe Min Oo knew he would fail the drug test as he had consumed methamphetamine before being detained.

As he was a former drug offender, he knew he would be sent to a drug rehabilitation centre again and feared that his wife would leave him.

He then sought Rahman's aid, as Rahman headed the team dealing with the case. He lied to Rahman that he had inhaled secondhand smoke while in the room with someone smoking methamphetamine. 

According to the prosecution, Rahman then conspired with Zuhairi and a third CNB officer to tamper with Maung Moe Min Oo's urine sample, enabling Maung Moe Min Oo to pass his instant urine test and leave the CNB office.

The prosecution's case was that Zuhairi suggested tampering with the urine sample to expedite Maung Moe Min Oo's departure, as Zuhairi thought the latter was a "difficult subject".

Zuhairi thought Maung Moe Min Oo was cunning and uncooperative and thought the officers would have to waste time doing unnecessary paperwork, the prosecution said.

He was caught on closed-circuit television footage taking an empty red-capped bottle into the toilet. The prosecution's case is that Hafiz then urinated into this bottle and left it in the toilet, before instructing Maung Moe Min Oo to urinate into an identical bottle but dispose of its contents.

Maung Moe Min Oo's urine tested negative for illicit drugs and he went to Malaysia. The case unravelled when he re-entered Singapore on Aug 17, 2018 and was again detained for suspected drug consumption. He told this CNB team that Rahman had helped him pass his urine test before.

Had Maung Moe Min Oo been correctly dealt with, he would either have been sent to a drug rehabilitation centre if his urine was positive for meth, or charged with failing to provide a urine sample if he refused to do so.

The two men claimed trial, with Rahman testifying that he was not paying attention to Maung Moe Min Oo during the urine test and was instead occupied with his phone. Zuhairi had chosen not to testify, and an adverse inference was drawn from this.

Zuhairi and Hafiz confessed in statements to conspiring to tamper with Maung Moe Min Oo's urine sample to expedite his departure from the CNB office.

In a previous statement, CNB said it took a "serious view of any complaint or allegation of impropriety" about its urine testing processes.

Zuhairi and Rahman were suspended from service in July 2019. Zuhairi resigned in February this year.

CNB said it would begin disciplinary proceedings against Rahman after his court conviction, with a view to dismiss him from service.

Maung Moe Min Oo's case is pending.

Source: CNA/ll(mi)
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