A police officer was sentenced to one year in jail yesterday for being a senior member of a secret society and the headman of a motor-cycle gang.
Umar Hassan, 38, a senior staff sergeant attached to the Singapore Police Force's Ang Mo Kio Division, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of being a member of an unlawful society.
Before handing out the sentence, District Judge Jasvender Kaur said: "Such unlawful societies which are prejudicial to public peace and public safety have no place in our society. Acting as a member of a secret society is therefore inherently harmful."
Umar had been a policeman for about 18 years since joining the police force in 1999, the court heard.
He set up his motorcycle group with three others in 2001, and he was later recruited into another secret society and made a senior member six years later.
In October 2008, he approached the assistant headman of the second gang to get his motorcycle group affiliated to it. The assistant headman agreed to this arrangement, the court heard.
Such unlawful societies which are prejudicial to public peace and public safety have no place in our society. Acting as a member of a secret society is therefore inherently harmful.
DISTRICT JUDGE JASVENDER KAUR
Umar was arrested on Nov 18, 2016, after police learnt about a video clip which showed a group of men chanting gang slogans at a wedding. He was in a WhatsApp chat group of the motorcycle gang and was aware that his gang members were providing escort for the wedding, as the matter was discussed in the chat.
Umar has been suspended from service in the police since Dec 14 last year. He is out on bail of $5,000 to settle personal matters, and has to surrender himself at the State Courts on July 4.
The police said yesterday they are commencing disciplinary proceedings against Umar, "with a view to dismissing him from service".
Earlier this month, the police said they had reviewed screening processes for future potential officers. Without revealing details, the police added that they conduct vetting on shortlisted applicants for police jobs.
"We also thoroughly examined the information which (Umar) had access to and whether he had used it in a manner prejudicial to the Singapore Police Force, and law and order. Based on our investigations so far, there is no indication of such abuse."
In another case of a policeman with gang links, Muhd Firdaus Abdullah, 20, who served his national service with the police, was jailed for six years and two months with five strokes of the cane on May 30.
He had pleaded guilty to offences including harbouring alleged murderer Muhammad Khalid Kamarudin, 22.
Firdaus and Khalid were members of the same secret society. Khalid's case is still pending.
The two men and Umar belonged to different gangs.