Cop illegally accessed police database and gave friend info about man, not knowing they are scammers

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
July 4, 2023

A police officer accessed a confidential database at his workplace without authorisation and helped his friend by conducting a screening on another man.

Bryan Tay Wei Chuan later told his friend, Lincoln Poh Chong Tee, what he had discovered and, in doing so, breached the trust placed in him as a police officer.

Tay, 30, was sentenced to three weeks’ jail on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to two charges – an offence under the Official Secrets Act and accessing the Cubicon II computer database system without authority.

The police said in an earlier statement that Tay was suspended from service in August 2021 and resigned from the force soon after.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ryan Lim said that Tay, who was a sergeant grade 2 at the time, had undermined the reputation of the Singapore Police Force.

Poh, then 26, was sentenced to a year in jail in September 2022 after he pleaded guilty to five charges, including cheating and abetting the unauthorised use of the police database.

Tay and Poh had become friends in or around February 2020. On March 18 that year, Poh contacted Tay and asked him to perform a screening to check for possible ongoing police cases linked to Wang Yu Chi, also known as Raymond.

Poh and Tay later went to a food centre where they met Wang, whose details were not disclosed in court documents.

DPP Lim said: “Wang told (Tay) that someone had made a police report concerning Wang’s company, and Wang wanted to check if he was implicated.”

On March 24, 2020, Tay was performing counter duties at Sembawang Neighbourhood Police Centre when he logged into Cubicon II after seeing that no one else was around.

He then conducted a screening based on Wang’s NRIC information and found there were no records against Wang.

Tay immediately sent a WhatsApp message to Poh stating: “His record is clean.”

But it turned out that Poh and Wang were planning a scam, the court heard during earlier proceedings in 2022.

In October 2020, Wang contacted a 33-year-old woman and struck an agreement to exchange $150,000 worth of yuan.

Poh then prepared $150,000 in cash that included sums of money that his friends had entrusted to him to invest in Bitcoin.

Tay was among the friends whom Poh had cheated to raise the money he needed for his scam. Tay had given Poh $25,000 after he was falsely promised profits for Bitcoin investments.

In the same month, Wang facilitated a meeting between the woman and two of Poh’s friends who held the Singapore currency.

As part of a plan, the two friends fled during the meeting and boarded a bus.

The woman, whose husband was with her at the time, chased after the pair in a taxi and caught up with them.

The police were alerted and Poh’s two friends were arrested. The friends were dealt with in court earlier.

Officers arrested Tay on Jan 24, 2022. Court documents did not disclose the outcome of Wang’s case.

The Straits Times

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