SINGAPORE - A former auxiliary police officer helped a colleague dispose of a discharged bullet, to protect him from being prosecuted for committing a rash act endangering life.
Muhammad Dzul Adhar Azmi, 22, then a corporal with Certis Cisco, was jailed for three weeks on Friday (Oct 21) for intentionally obstructing the course of justice, and fined $2,000 or one week's jail for failing to report the offence committed by Gregory Lai Kar Jun, 23, at Tuas Checkpoint.
Court papers say he had reason to believe that Lai had discharged a bullet from his revolver in the course of a game akin to Russian roulette.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi said Dzul was on duty at Tuas Checkpoint on Aug 13, 2015, when Lai played with his revolver. Lai took out all five bullets from the chamber of the revolver, then loaded one in.
Intending to play a game like Russian roulette, Lai spun the chamber and pressed the trigger in Dzul's presence. The gun did not fire, but when he pressed a second time, the bullet was fired. He then placed the remaining four bullets back in the revolver.
Lai later found the used bullet under a table and removed it. He told Dzul of his plan to put one bullet in a toilet bowl, following which he would claim he had lost two bullets while using the toilet.
Dzul agreed to the plan and helped Lai to think of how to cover up the discharging of the bullet.
Lai hid the used bullet in the traffic wand. He then went to the portable toilet where he disposed a different bullet into the toilet bowl, to make it appear that he had inadvertently lost two bullets while using the portable toilet.
Lai then reported the matter to the operations room.
Meanwhile, Dzul retrieved the used bullet from the traffic wand and placed it in his cigarette box.
That evening, the two helped police search for the used bullet to cover up their plan.
Further investigations showed that at about 1am to 2am the next day, Dzul went to Bedok Reservoir and threw the used bullet into the waters.
He admitted that he wanted to help Lai, and that he chose Bedok Reservoir to dispose of the used bullet. Lai's case is pending.
Pleading for leniency, Dzul's lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said his client, who comes from a poor family, served to the best of his ability during the five months with Certis Cisco. He said his client, now a truck assistant, is remorseful and struggling to make ends meet.
Asked by District Judge Crystal Ong why he committed these offences, Mr Supramaniam said his client was "blinded by his loyalty to his colleague'', and that it was totally out of character.
Judge Ong said what Dzul did out of misguided loyalty was very foolish, and he now has to bear the consequences.
"The sentence to be imposed has to be sufficiently severe so as to deter people from obstructing the course of justice. The principal offence is serious and involves the discharge of the firearm," she said.
Dzul could have been jailed for up to seven years and/or fined for obstructing the course of justice. For omitting to give any information of the offence which he is legally bound to give, he could have been jailed for up to six months and/or fined.