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Two former prison officers charged after sharing confidential information with inmate

Two former prison officers charged after sharing confidential information with inmate

File photo of handcuffs (Photo: AFP/Michelle Shephard)

SINGAPORE: Two former prison officers were charged on Monday (Nov 1) for allegedly sharing confidential information with an inmate at Tanah Merah Prison last year.

In October 2020, Abdul Karim Mohamed Kuppai Khan, a 35-year-old inmate at Tanah Merah Prison, allegedly received information on other inmates at the prison on four occasions from Muhammad Zul Helmy Abdul Latip, a 33-year-old Singapore Prison Service officer (SPS).

The information included other inmates’ ages, residential addresses, criminal charges and contact details of their next-of-kin.

Karim is also said to have received information on the locations of several other inmates at the prison from 37-year-old SPS officer Muhammad Fattahullah Mohd Nordin on six occasions in 2020.

Karim allegedly threatened to injure the family of another inmate at the prison.

SPS said that it commenced internal investigations after finding a note containing confidential information in an inmate’s cell.

"The investigations found that (Helmy and Fattahullah) had allegedly accessed and provided confidential information to the inmate on separate occasions," SPS said.

Helmy faced four charges for offences under the Official Secrets Act, while Fattahullah faced two charges, of which one was amalgamated.

Fattahullah was also charged under the Computer Misuse Act for allegedly accessing data relating to an inmate’s location at Tanah Merah Prison without authorisation on Oct 11, 2020.

For his actions, the inmate Karim faced six charges for offences under the Official Secrets Act, of which one was amalgamated, and an additional charge for criminal intimidation.

SPS said that it takes a very serious view of any wrongful access and communication of confidential information.

"Any officer found to have done so will be dealt with firmly, including referral to the appropriate law enforcement agencies," it said.

The prison service had referred the cases to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

“Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and other criminal activities,” said CPIB in a news release.  

“CPIB will not hesitate to take firm action against offenders, including public officers who abuse their position of authority and tarnish the image of the Public Service.”

Any person who is convicted of an offence under the Official Secrets Act can be fined or imprisoned for up to two years, or both. Those who are convicted under the Computer Misuse Act may face a fine or prison sentence of up to two years, or both.

Those found guilty of criminal intimidation may face a fine or be sentenced to jail for up to two years, or both.

Source: CNA/ec(ac)

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