SINGAPORE - Two teenagers were among four people charged in court on Tuesday (Oct 15) over their alleged involvement in transmitting obscene materials in messaging application Telegram.
In a statement, police said that the four alleged offenders were caught for their “suspected involvement in circulating obscene materials and promoting vice activities” through a chat group called “SG Nasi Lemak”.
The four, who appeared in court via video link, are: Abdillah Sabaruddin, 17; Justin Lee Han Shi, 19; Leonard Teo Min Xuan, 26 and Liong Tianwei, 37.
They were each charged with one count of transmitting obscene materials by electronic means. Lee, Teo and Liong are accused of committing the offence between January and October this year. Abdillah allegedly transmitted an explicit picture of two naked women to SG Nasi Lemak on Oct 5.
The police had received several reports against the chat group between March 15 and Oct 3 this year.
Officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division managed to establish the identities of the four alleged offenders and arrested them at various locations islandwide on Monday.
More than 10 electronic devices, including a central processing unit, a laptop, a hard disk and several mobile phones, were seized as case exhibits.
Reports earlier this month said the chat group was used as a platform for sharing obscene photos and videos of Singaporean girls. The photos are said to include upskirt images.
Screenshots of the chat group suggest there were more than 44,000 members when it was still active.
According to Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao, the chat group was set up more than a year ago, but its membership numbers spiked in recent months with more people becoming aware of it.
They had to pay $30 as an "entry fee".
On Sept 30, a Twitter user condemned the group on the social media platform as she was mentioned in the Telegram chat group.
This prompted many other Twitter users to express their disgust at the content being circulated in SG Nasi Lemak.
In the statement, police advised members of the public not to solicit in any lewd websites or join such online platforms and illicit chat groups.
They added that the police take a "serious view of anyone involved in criminal activities and will continue to take tough enforcement actions against those breaking the law".
All four accused are remanded at Woodlands Police Division and will be back in court on Oct 22.
Liong is represented by lawyer Tan Hee Joek while the three others are unrepresented.
Offenders convicted of transmitting obscene materials by electronic means can be jailed for up to three months and fined.