Police NSF gets 18 years' jail, 15 strokes of cane

He pleads guilty to rape, oral sex, outrage of modesty, extortion while abusing authority

A full-time police national serviceman sneaked up on couples behaving intimately at Housing Board staircases, recorded their acts on video and then used his status to extort money from them.

The third time he did this, Muhammad Shazwan Sapuwan went a step further - he brazenly raped a 16-year-old girl he had "caught" in intimate acts with her boyfriend, who was also 16.

Yesterday, Shazwan, now 23, was jailed for 18 years and ordered to be caned 15 strokes after he pleaded guilty to rape, oral sex, outrage of modesty and extortion.

Five other charges for extortion, cheating and sexual assault were taken into consideration.

While court was stood down for Judicial Commissioner Foo Chee Hock to deliberate on the sentence, Shazwan sobbed loudly as relatives urged him to behave himself while in prison.

The court heard that on Oct 24, 2014, Shazwan followed the young couple to a block of flats, where he quietly observed them from one floor above and took two photos of them being intimate.

Shazwan took videos of couples behaving intimately and extorted money from them.
Shazwan took videos of couples behaving intimately and extorted money from them.

He then approached them, identifying himself as a police officer. At the time, he was wearing a Jurong Police Division polo T-shirt, his blue police trousers and a lanyard displaying his police warrant card.

When he asked for their particulars, the couple handed over their identity cards and gave him their mobile phone numbers.

Shazwan told them he would be taking them to the police station. He claimed that footage of their behaviour was already in the "system" and that other officers were nearby.

As the couple cried and begged him to let them go, he told them they had committed the offence of "public nudity". After the girl said she did not want her parents to know about it, they tried to work out a solution to their predicament. During the discussion, Shazwan told them his name.

After an hour, Shazwan hurled vulgarities at them and told them that he was going to "submit" their names as he did not want to lose his job. He told them he would delete the video that was in the "system" and let them go. But they had to repeat their intimate acts for him to record on his phone.

He also told them that if he were to lose his job for letting them go, he would use the recording to threaten them for money.

While the couple were performing sexual acts, Shazwan touched the girl's breast and forced her to perform oral sex on him. He told the boy to have sex with the girl but the teenager refused.

Shazwan then raped the girl. After the rape, he asked the couple why they did not continue the sex acts. He left the scene, telling the couple not to go down until he made sure that the other officers were gone.

That evening, he told the boy on WhatsApp that he had lost his job and needed "help".

Two days later, he told the boy he needed $40. The teenager, fearing that Shazwan would release the video, transferred the money to him.

Three days after the rape, the girl broke down in front of her friends in school and told them what had happened.

Her friends managed to find out Shazwan's identity on Facebook and encouraged her to make a police report. Later that day, she told her family, who went with her to the police.

Deputy Public Prosecutor S. Sellakumaran argued that Shazwan's brazen acts warranted a deterrent sentence; instead of upholding the law, Shazwan had abused his authority as a police officer.

Shazwan, who was represented by lawyers Ravinderpal Singh and James Ow Yong, apologised in court for his "raucous" actions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2016, with the headline 'Police NSF gets 18 years' jail, 15 strokes of cane'. Print Edition | Subscribe