Security man with secret society link jailed

As a security officer at Tampines Court condominium, Rajagopal Murugan was supposed to ensure residents' safety and help maintain order at the property.

But during an expletive-filled tirade at his workplace on Aug 20 last year, Rajagopal told his manager that he was a secret society headman and also threatened him.

Rajagopal said he would get his gang members to attack the 52-year-old security manager. This exchange was captured on a video that went viral.

Yesterday, Rajagopal, 46, was jailed for a year and four months after pleading guilty to one count each of criminal intimidation, being a member of an unlawful society and dishonest misappropriation of property. He also admitted to two counts each of theft, assault and contravening a personal protection order taken out by his wife against him.

Thirteen other charges, including four counts of harassment, were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The Tampines Court incident erupted after a resident complained to the security manager at 10.30pm that day that Rajagopal had yelled at her when she reported noise in the neighbourhood.

The manager, who was not stationed at the development, told Rajagopal about the complaint and said he would go to the condominium to meet him. While he was on his way there, Rajagopal threatened him on the phone.

A colleague caught him on video making the threat.

The manager alerted the police and their investigations revealed that Rajagopal was indeed a senior member of a secret society he had joined in 1989.

The court heard it was not his first run-in with the law while working as a security guard.

On July 21, 2016, while working as a relief guard at The Minton condominium in Hougang, Rajagopal kept a CashCard he had found which belonged to a resident. He used the $40 value on the card to buy beer.

He also stole a sling bag containing more than $75,000 in cash from a car that had been parked along Race Course Road near Little India on March 20 last year. He used the money to buy 23 pieces of gold and a puppy, among other things.

Yesterday, Rajagopal also admitted that he had assaulted his wife last June after she refused to give him money.

He assaulted her again about three months later by repeatedly kicking and punching her body.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2018, with the headline Security man with secret society link jailed. Subscribe