5 months' jail for policeman who helped to intentionally pervert the course of justice

Quak Tiong Beng was sentenced to five months' jail on June 8, 2021. PHOTO: CORRUPT PRACTICES INVESTIGATION BUREAU

SINGAPORE - A police staff sergeant was on duty at the Police Cantonment Complex (PCC) lock-up when he took instructions from a remandee and made a phone call to a witness on the man's behalf.

The officer, Quak Tiong Beng, phoned Mr Sae Pang Yan Shuo and relayed Casper Ang's instructions for Mr Sae to give false information to an investigating officer handling Ang's case.

The 42-year-old Singaporean policeman, who has since been suspended, was sentenced on Tuesday (June 8) to five months' jail after he admitted that he had helped Ang, 32, to intentionally pervert the course of justice.

Quak was caught red-handed after he called Mr Sae while the latter was in the middle of an interview with an officer from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD).

Mr Sae's phone was on speaker mode and the CAD officer heard Quak's instructions.

Defence lawyer Michael Yap said that Quak had not obtained any gain or reward from Ang for taking part in the offence.

Ang is accused of multiple offences, including those under the Computer Misuse Act. His case is pending.

The court heard that Quak joined the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in 1999. Years later, he followed Ang's account on live video streaming social media application Bigo.

On April 8, 2019, the police arrested Ang over his alleged links to fraudulent credit card transactions. He was then remanded at the PCC lock-up.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Zhi Jie said that in his interviews with the police, Ang lied to a CAD investigating officer, claiming that one of his accomplices was a man called "Boon Hien" who had died in 2018.

The DPP added: "Casper did so as he thought that he would be able to shift the blame for the scheme to the deceased Boon Hien, knowing that the CAD would not be able to verify his version of events with the deceased.

"Casper knew that Boon Hien was not an accomplice and was not involved in the fraudulent scheme."

On April 23, 2019, Ang was in the lock-up when he spotted Quak and asked him to call Mr Sae on his behalf before giving him Mr Sae's mobile phone number.

DPP Tay said Ang asked Quak to tell Mr Sae that if an investigating officer showed him a photo, he was to say that he had seen the person in the photo before but could not confirm who he was.

"Casper did not tell Quak the identity of the person in the photograph or the exact details of the investigations against him," the DPP added.

Quak then made the call in an area of the lock-up, though he was not supposed to take his mobile phone there.

The CAD investigating officer heard his instructions to Mr Sae, and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau was alerted on April 30, 2019.

Quak's bail was set at $10,000 on Tuesday, and he was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on June 21 to begin serving his sentence.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the police said that Quak had been suspended from service since May 13, 2019. They have also started internal action against him.

The police added that their officers are expected to uphold the law and maintain the highest standards of conduct and integrity. Those who break the law will be dealt with severely.

For intentionally perverting the course of justice, an offender can be jailed for up to seven years and fined.

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