SINGAPORE - A man who received confidential information messaged a friend he knew to be wanted by police to leave the Boat Quay area before officers arrived to investigate a case.
However, the friend was caught during a police check and the police subsequently found out about his illegal informant.
On Friday (Oct 12), Muhammad Firdaus Arman, 26, was sentenced to two weeks' jail after he admitted to communicating classified information in his possession to unauthorised personnel.
The court was told that on March 24, a full-time national service man in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Mr Muhammad Fauzi Ramlan, 20, heard that a friend of his had been assaulted by her former boyfriend at a pub in Boat Quay.
Mr Fauzi decided to check if a police call had been made by logging into an emergency call monitoring system manned by the SCDF which he had access to.
He found out that his friend had made a call asking for police assistance at the pub in Circular Road. He took a photograph of this message with his mobile phone and sent the image to a friend, who forwarded it to a WhatsApp group that Firdaus was part of.
Firdaus, who knew his friend Raihan Saliman Rabu, 19, was in the area, alerted him via WhatsApp to leave before the police arrived.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim told the court that Firdaus knew that his friend Raihan had recently been released from the Reformative Training Centre and had unlawfully removed his electronic tagging device. Raihan was on a police "wanted list" at that point in time, DPP Lim added. It is not stated in court documents what crime Raihan had committed.
"The accused had intended to alert Raihan to the police presence and to help him avoid detection by sending the image of the message and warning to Raihan," DPP Lim said.
This was despite the fact that Firdaus knew the message had been sent in breach of the Official Secrets Act, she noted, adding that Firdaus was previously a medic in the SCDF.
His efforts failed when Raihan was stopped and checked by the police that night.
Firdaus, who is out on bail, will start his jail sentence on Oct 29.
For his acts, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined $2,000.