Senior prison officer going to prison for pocketing $406 of inmate's money and lying about it

Andrew Wong
The Straits Times
Feb 16, 2024

A senior prison officer who kept $406 from the cash that was supposed to be returned to an inmate being released was sentenced to six months’ jail on Feb 16.

Mohamed Rahadian Mohamed Kassim, 49, pleaded guilty on Feb 1 to committing criminal breach of trust and perverting the course of justice.

One charge of giving false information to a police officer was taken into consideration during his sentencing.

Rahadian was employed by the Singapore Prison Service at the time of his offence, holding the rank of Chief Warder 2.

As an offender administration officer, he was tasked with managing the operations of Selarang Park Complex and the release of inmates.

On Nov 18, 2022, Rahadian was given 10 Ziploc bags containing cash that was to be returned to inmates being released that day.

He pocketed one bag containing $406, which belonged to an inmate whom court documents named as Nasarudin.

Rahadian then called Nasarudin into the room and laid out the remaining amount on a table.

The inmate noticed there were only $100 and $50 notes on the table. Although he remembered he had also surrendered $10 and $2 notes before serving his jail term, he did not raise the issue as he assumed the remaining notes were in another bag.

It was only after Nasarudin was escorted to HarbourFront Centre by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers that he counted the cash and discovered the shortfall.

The inmate had $3,306 on him when he was admitted to prison, but Rahadian had returned him only $2,900.

Nasarudin informed the ICA officers about it, and the officers relayed the matter to the prison service. Rahadian was also told that day that an inmate had reported a deficit in the money returned to him.

On Nov 20, 2022, Rahadian tried to cover up the theft by putting $406 in his own trouser pocket before running the trousers through the washing machine and dryer.

He did this so that he could lie to his superiors that he had mistakenly placed the cash in his pocket, the court was told in earlier proceedings.

On Nov 21, 2022, Rahadian slid the $406 between empty polymer bags in the area where vendors would be stationed to return inmates their belongings.

The money was found and returned to Nasarudin on Nov 22, 2022.

Closed-circuit television footage revealed that Rahadian had handled Nasarudin’s money the day the inmate was discharged.

But in his statement to the police on Dec 30, 2022, Rahadian denied taking the money. He admitted to his offences only the next day.

In a written mitigation plea read in court on Feb 1, defence lawyer Gino Hardial Singh of Abbots Chambers said his client did not personally benefit from the money and the harm caused was minimal as the funds were returned.

He added that his client lost his job after 25 years with the Singapore Prison Service as a result of the case and is going through a divorce.

For criminal breach of trust, an offender can be jailed for up to 20 years and fined.

For perverting the course of justice, an offender can be jailed for up to seven years and fined.

The Straits Times

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