Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beware: Robbers impersonating as Ministry of Manpower Officer

Jurong Police Division Headquarters at Jurong ...

A passer-by aided the Police in the arrest of three suspects who impersonated public servants to steal from a foreign worker.

On 11 Jan 2011 at about 8pm, the victim, a 28-year-old foreign worker was sitting at the void deck of Blk 666A Jurong West St 65 when three unknown men approached him. One of the men flashed a card and identified himself as a MOM officer stating that he wanted to check the victim’s belongings. The victim handed over his belongings but decided to call for the Police as he sensed that something was amiss. However, the man took away his hand phone and walked away. The victim tried to request for the return of his handphone but was stopped by another man.

At this juncture, the victim approached a 22-year-old passer-by for help. Upon seeing the passer-by call the Police on his phone, the three suspects immediately fled from the scene. Together with the victim, the public-spirited passer-by gave chase and managed to detain one of the suspects after a short chase. Police arrived shortly thereafter and took over custody of the suspect.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from Jurong Police Division managed to establish the identities of the other two suspects. Both suspects were subsequently arrested on 12 Jan 2011 at Jurong West and Woodlands respectively. The victim’s handphone was also successfully recovered. Preliminary investigations revealed that the three suspects are believed to be involved in other similar cases islandwide.

The three suspects, aged 21 to 25, will be charged in the Subordinate Courts on 13 Jan 2011 for offences of Impersonating as a Public Servant under Section 170 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which carries a jail term which may extend to 2 years, or with a fine, or both. In addition, they will also be charged for the offence of Theft under Section 379 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which carries a jail term of not more than 3 years and with a fine, or both. A Court Order will be sought to remand the suspects for further investigations.

Commander of Jurong Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Florence Chua, commended the passer-by for his public spiritedness. She added, “The arrest was made possible because of the assistance of the public-spirited individual. This reinforces the importance of a strong Police-community partnership in keeping our neighborhoods safe.”

Members of the public are advised to be wary of such perpetrators and to always verify the identity of persons claiming to be representatives of government agencies by calling the organizations concerned or checking their identification passes. If in doubt, members of the public should contact the Police for assistance immediately.

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