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Police officer fined $3,000 for lying about stolen bike

The Independent logo The Independent 22/10/2021 Anna Maria Romero
© The Independent Singapore

Singapore —A police officer who lost the key to his bicycle lock reported his bike “stolen” so that he could get fellow officers to help him free his bike.

Ong Chee Seng, 50, a police station inspector, was fined $3,000  on Thursday for lying about the  “theft”. He pleaded guilty to giving false information to the police, causing an officer to investigate.

Earlier this year, Ong, 50, locked his bike at the bicycle bay of Waterway Point but lost the key. When he was unable to remove the lock, he reported that he “found” his “stolen” bike, upon the joking suggestion of some friends.

On Thursday (Oct 21) he was given a $3,000 fine after entering a guilty plea to one count of furnishing false information to the police which caused an officer to carry out investigations into the alleged offence. Another similar count was considered for his sentencing. 

The Singapore Police Force confirmed that it is carrying out internal action against Ong and that he had not served as a police officer since being “interdicted from service” on Sep 3.

And it was all because of lunch.

His troubles began on May 26 when he went to Waterway Point, a mall in Punggol Central, at around 11:30 am to buy lunch.

He locked his foldable bike at the bicycle bay but when he returned, he could not find the key in his pants pocket. So he left the bike at the mall and took the train home. Later that day, he sought a cutter to break the lock but in vain..Nor would  Waterway Point’s security lend him a cutter since they could not be sure he owned the bike.

Ong then reached out to friends via WhatsApp, asking if anyone had the tool he needed.

His friends jokingly suggested that he report his bike as stolen and say that he had found it, so that the police would help him for free, and to take pictures to prove his case.

At around 5:30pm, Ong told an officer at Punggol Neighbourhood Police Centre, “I found my stolen bicycle here at bicycle bay of Waterway Point, I need police assistance”.

When the officers assigned to his case arrived, Ong cooked up this tale: He said he had left his bike against the railing of My Waterway @ Punggol before going to the mall, and found the bike missing on his return, but spotted his bike by chance in the bicycle bay.

Unfortunately for Ong, the officers said they would check CCTV cameras to determine that the bike was really his. That was when he came clean and admitted he had lied since he knew what the cameras would reveal.

In the course of investigating his claims, resources were spent on the false report that he had filed, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheryl Yeo.

But according to Ong’s lawyer, Low Hui Hui, the offence he committed had been done “out of sheer stupidity” adding that he had been “very stupid” to follow his friends’ suggestion.

No action was taken against Ong’s friends, who had also once worked for the SPF, as the suggestions had been made in jest.

Ong could have been jailed and/or fined as much as $5,000, been jailed, for providing false information to a public officer. /TISG

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