Two teens among four charged over sharing obscene content on Telegram

More than 10 electronic devices, including a central processing unit, a laptop, a hard disk and several mobile phones, were seized as case exhibits.
More than 10 electronic devices, including a central processing unit, a laptop, a hard disk and several mobile phones, were seized as case exhibits.PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

Two teenagers were among four people charged in court yesterday over their alleged involvement in transmitting obscene material in messaging application Telegram.

In a statement, police said the four alleged offenders were caught for their suspected involvement in circulating obscene material and promoting vice activities through a chat group called SG Nasi Lemak.

The four, who appeared in court via video link, are Abdillah Sabaruddin, 17; Justin Lee Han Shi, 19; Leonard Teo Min Xuan, 26; and Liong Tianwei, 37.

They were each charged with one count of transmitting obscene material by electronic means.

Lee, Teo and Liong are accused of committing the offence between January and this month. Abdillah allegedly transmitted an explicit picture of two naked women to SG Nasi Lemak on Oct 5.

The police received several reports against the chat group between March 15 and Oct 3.

Officers from the Ang Mo Kio Police Division managed to establish the identities of the four alleged offenders and arrested them at various locations islandwide on Monday.

More than 10 electronic devices, including a central processing unit, a laptop, a hard disk and several mobile phones, were seized as case exhibits.

Reports earlier this month said the chat group was used as a platform for sharing obscene photos and videos of Singaporean girls. The photos were said to include upskirt images.

 
 

Screenshots of the chat group suggested that there were more than 44,000 members when it was still active.

According to Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao, the chat group was set up more than a year ago, but its membership numbers spiked in recent months with more people becoming aw-are of it. They had to pay $30 as an "entry fee".

On Sept 30, a Twitter user condemned the group on the social media platform as she was mentioned in the Telegram chat group.

This prompted many other Twitter users to express their disgust at the content being circulated in SG Nasi Lemak.

In the statement, the police advised members of the public not to solicit on any lewd websites or join such online platforms and illicit chat groups.

The police added that they take a serious view of anyone involved in criminal activities and will continue to take tough enforcement action against those breaking the law.

All four accused are remanded at Woodlands Police Division and will be back in court next Tuesday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2019, with the headline 'Two teens among four charged over sharing obscene content on Telegram'. Print Edition | Subscribe