How to tell a real policeman from a fake one

Jun 08, 2016 04.00PM |
 

by Wan Ting Koh

FIRST, look at his or her warrant card. These cards, carried around by real police officers, should have features which prove their authenticity, including a police crest, a photo of the officer, name and NRIC number.
On the right side of the card, you’ll also see a vertical row of five holographic police crests, and for further verification, tilt the card at the angle to see whether the holographic word “POLICE” shows up beneath the officer’s photo.
The new Singapore Police Force warrant card will be used from March 1 this year. Photo taken from SPF Facebook page.
The new Singapore Police Force warrant card will be used from March 1 this year. Photo taken from SPF Facebook page.

 

And if all this still doesn’t reassure you, dial 999 for assistance.

This friendly tip was issued yesterday (June 7) after the police arrested yet another person posing as an officer to molest someone.

A 38-year-old man had posed as a police officer to molest a woman along Tanglin Halt Road on Sunday around 10.30pm, the police said. He was caught a day later at Redhill Close.

It’s not the first time someone has tried to get away with murder molest by pretending to be a policeman. Just a few weeks ago, the court heard the case of a secondary school student who said she was raped in 2013 by a former pizza delivery man impersonating a police officer.

Muhammad Firman Jumali Chew, is on trial for raping the 16-year-old girl after seeing her being intimate with her same-age boyfriend at a stairwell at Block 362, Woodlands Avenue 5.

The 30-year-old approached the couple and identified himself as a policeman. He then sent the boyfriend away, and took the girl to the nearby Block 359, where he allegedly raped her.

The victim, then a secondary three Singaporean student, later filed a police report.

Posing as police officers in order to commit crimes is not something new, of course. In fact, impostors go to great lengths to pass as police officers – and not just for sex. They do so to rob, extort money, or simply to gain access to resources they want.

In May 2014, for example, a 39-year-old posed as a police officer in order to get the contact details of prostitutes in Geylang whom he wanted to call for cheap sex at a later date. Pest control officer Yusri Abdul Wahab even disguised himself as a police officer by wearing a black polo tee with the word “Police” on it, and using a homemade police pass to further bolster his claim.

He was jailed four months for the offence.

Last year, three out of a gang of five were convicted of impersonating police officers in order to conduct a false raid on traders whom they planned to rob. While the other two members acted as lookouts, music teacher Magesan Ramasamy, 36, and Mohamed Faizal Ajmalhan, 32, and taxi driver Mohammad Ansari Abdul Hussain, 36, forced their way into the rooms of three businessmen, who were Indian nationals, in Dunlop Street on Sept 10, 2012.

The trio demanded for their victims’ passports, then restrained them with flexi-cuffs, and ordered them to sit or kneel. They then robbed the men of $1.27 million. For their crimes, Ramasamy got 10 years and six months’ jail while Faizal received a jail sentence of 10 years and four months. Ansari was sentenced to eight years’ jail and ordered to receive 12 strokes of the cane.

 

Featured image by Natassya Diana. 

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