Convicted CNB officer gets three months for lodging false reports

SINGAPORE - A Central Narcotics Bureau officer convicted of lodging two false reports out of sheer laziness was sentenced to three months' jail on Tuesday.

Low Vins, 26, had been found guilty after a three-day trial, of giving false information to a narcotics officer at Bedok police division headquarters, by lying that officers had conducted house visits at the homes of two drug offenders.

He is out on $20,000 bail, pending an appeal.

The court heard that as the officer in charge of the cases against the two offenders - Sim Soon Lee and Soh Hock Tuan, it was Low's job to ensure that once investigations were complete, the duo was detained and taken to the Drug Rehabilitation Centre.

On Jan 26 that year, both men, who were on bail, reported to the bail office at Bedok station.

Low's colleague, Staff Sergeant Vasanthakumar Pillai, called Low, who was not in, to ask whether to extend the bail of the two men, or to remand them.

Low told the staff sergeant to extend their bail.

The prosecution's case is that when he later realised that he had made a mistake, he falsified the two house visit reports so that the case could be transferred to CNB's Special Investigation Team to look into the matter.

The prosecution argued that Low wanted to avoid any internal disciplinary rebuke for mishandling of the matter by exceeding the timeline, and had falsified the two house visit reports.

The matter came to light when Sim's sister lodged a complaint against CNB, saying her brother had been wrongfully charged in court and deprived of a chance to enter the DRC.

Low did not respond to a request by an investigation officer to provide evidence about the house visit to Sim's flat.

Low had in his defence blamed the staff sergeant for giving him false information. He also asserted that his superior knew about it and did not take action against the other colleague.

He could have been jailed for up to one year and fined up to $5,000 on each of the two charges.