Public Servant Allegedly Took Photo Of Police Lookout Message On Tampines Stabbing & Sent It Via WhatsApp
When a woman was found injured and unconscious at a void deck of a block in Tampines, photos of the grisly crime quickly circulated online.
The police quickly identified the suspect, and sent what is called a “lookout message” to various law enforcement agencies.
However, a public servant who received the message allegedly shared it with his friend.
He’s now been arrested for committing an alleged offence under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
Tampines stabbing incident occurred on 10 Feb
Last Wednesday (10 Feb), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a news release that it was alerted to a stabbing incident at about 6.30am.
It occurred at Block 206 Tampines Street 21.
They found a woman with slash wounds on her neck, lying motionless at the void deck.
She was conveyed to hospital, and subsequently passed away.
The Straits Times (ST) identified the woman as Ms Iris Ting Su Yin, 42.
Police identify suspect, send lookout message
In a news release on Monday (15 Feb), the police said they managed to identify the suspect in the stabbing shortly after.
They then sent a lookout message to law enforcement agencies at about 7.30am on the same day.
According to ST, the message contained information like:
- The police report number
- Suspect’s name
- Suspect’s photo
- Suspect’s date of birth
- Suspect’s nationality
- Image taken from security camera showing the suspected assailant
Public servant receives message, shares it with friend
One of the public servants who received the lookout message was a 37-year-old man working for a government agency, the police said.
He allegedly took a photo of the message, then sent it to his friend over WhatsApp.
The friend was described as a 60-year-old man. He wasn’t authorised to see the information.
The friend, on his part, allegedly sent it to others, resulting in the message being widely shared over the Internet.
Suspect found dead in Punggol
Later that morning, at about 9.10am, a 45-year-old man was found unconsciousness at the foot of Block 205A, Punggol Field.
The police said they believed him to be the assailant. He was sent to hospital and subsequently passed away there.
He was identified by ST as Ng Chee Kok, 45. He had married Ms Ting in June 2000 but their marriage was on the rocks.
She had 3 children.
Public servant suspected of wrongful communication of information
The public servant who shared the lookout message is suspected of wrongful communication of information, the police said.
That’s an offence under the OSA, and those found guilty face a fine of up to $2,000 and a jail term of up to 2 years.
Those not authorised to receive the info who circulate it may also be guilty of such an offence under the OSA.
Police investigations are ongoing, but the Government takes a serious view of wrongful communication of confidential information, they said.
Thus, anyone who does that will be dealt with firmly.
Police urge public not to circulate info
In their release on 10 Feb, the police urged the public not to circulate materials on the case online.
That includes the official document and a photo of Ms Ting’s body lying in the void deck.
This is out of respect for the deceased and her family.
Don’t share sensitive info online
While it’s understandable that Singaporeans will want to know more about the tragic incident, sharing the info online may cause more grief to those left behind.
Thus, if you come across photos or any other info, please don’t share it.
And if an appeal to one’s conscience doesn’t move people, the threat of being arrested under the OSA should.
MS News sends our condolences to the family of the deceased, and hope they will get some form of closure soon.
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Featured image adapted from Dimitri Karastelev @ Unsplash.