Police NSF, 23, gets 3 weeks jail for posting TikTok of teammate in handcuffs

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A full-time national serviceman policeman, Amirudin Shah Zainal, posted a TikTok video with a photo of his teammate in handcuffs as the background.

The 23-year-old also abused his access to the police computer system to retrieve information about his teammate’s criminal matter.

An anonymous informant submitted an i-Witness form via the Singapore Police Force’s (SPF) website on Jul. 30, 2021 after the TikTok was shared to others.

On Jan. 25, Amirudin pleaded guilty to one count under the Computer Misuse Act for unauthorised access to data held in the computer system of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

He was sentenced to three weeks’ imprisonment.

Accessing teammate’s criminal file

Amirudin was enlisted in the SPF on Jan. 4, 2020.

He was posted to the Public Transport Security Command Headquarters (TransCom HQ) on Mar. 19, 2020.

At TransCom HQ, he was assigned the task of keying in the details of fresh incidents in SPF’s computerised record system, CUBICON 2.

CUBICON 2 is a computer system of the MHA.

According to court documents, Amirudin was given login access to CUBICON 2 around July 2020 for official duties.

He was aware that he was not authorised to access cases that he was not assigned to on CUBICON 2.

Amirudin discovered his teammate was arrested on suspicion of committing an offence and with a specific incident number.

On Jan. 28, he logged on to CUBICON 2 to do his work and accessed his teammate’s criminal matter using the specific incident numbers.

From there, Amirudin found a photo of his teammate in handcuffs in a lock-up room. This photo was not meant to be made public.

Amirudin took a picture of the teammate in cuffs using his handphone.

He then sent the photo to a WhatsApp group chat that consisted of 17 other NSF police officers who were all part of Amirudin’s team at TransComHQ.

None of these officers had the authorisation to access that particular teammate’s criminal matter.

Subsequently, on Feb. 17, Amirudin showed his colleague the photo of his teammate in cuffs.

He then suggested they make a TikTok using the photo as the background and a song featured in the movie “15”, which is about teenage gangsters in Singapore.

The motive of the video was to make fun of his teammate.

The video was 8 seconds long and posted to Amirudin’s TikTok account.

Amirudin and his colleague were both in their SPF uniform as they performed hand signs while lipsyncing to the song.

The video has since been taken down.

The TikTok was then shared with another WhatsApp group, which included two other full-time NSFs, and the previous WhatsApp group.

On Feb. 24, Amirudin sent the TikTok video again to the WhatsApp group.

Anonymous tip

An anonymous informant submitted an i-Witness form via SPF’s website on Jul. 30, 2021.

The informant wrote: “how come singapore policeman can take videos with temasek poly student in handcuff and chant this kind of thing [sic].”

The TikTok video was attached to the form.

Investigations revealed that aside from Jan. 28, 2021, Amirudin used his account to access his teammate’s criminal file on CUBICON 2 four other times.

The court documents pointed out that Amirudin had no authority at any point during the five occasions to access his teammate’s criminal matter.

Prosecution request for imprisonment

The prosecution requested that Amirudin be sentenced to three to six weeks’ jail.

The deputy public prosecutor Samuel Chew pointed out that Amirudin knowingly abused his position of trust as a public servant.

In addition, Amirudin sent the photo to two WhatsApp groups on several occasions to people not authorised to view such sensitive information, which “could have compromised the integrity of police investigations”.

The TikTok video further “escalated the risk of the photograph being further disseminated to the broader public,” said Chew.

Amirudin’s motive behind the video was also described as “completely frivolous” as he deliberately accessed his teammates’ criminal matter and used a picture of his teammate in handcuffs to “make a parody video to make fun of [him]”.

Amirudin’s deliberate access was not a one-off offence as he made unauthorised access on CUBICON2 on five separate occasions over four months.

As such, Chew asked for Amirudin’s imprisonment to “send a strong signal to deter police officers from abusing their positions and going beyond their scope of authority for unauthorised purposes”.

Top photo via Unsplash