Police officer in debt from wife’s hospital bills uses brother’s name to apply for loans, gets jail

SINGAPORE: A police officer going through monetary hassle after his spouse had an emergency caesarean operation used his brother’s name and solid financial institution paperwork to download bank cards and loans.

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Muhammad Aqib Mohammad Akhtar, 31, was sentenced to 20 weeks’ jail on Tuesday (Nov 23). He pleaded responsible to a cost every of forgery and obstruction of justice. Another 4 prices had been thought-about in sentencing.

The court docket heard that Aqib was an officer with the Singapore Police Force for 9 years when he bumped into monetary hassle in February 2020.

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He incurred about S$16,000 of hospital bills, as his spouse wanted to endure an emergency caesarean operation to give delivery to his baby. His spouse was additionally beneath a debt reimbursement scheme and had to repay S$1,000 monthly.

Aqib paid for about half of the bills by bank card. He had been investigated in 2016 for “financial embarrassment”, a time period for when a civil servant is an undischarged bankrupt or exceeds a specific amount of unsecured money owed and liabilities.

As he was frightened about his bills, Aqib determined to use his brother’s name to repay his bank card debt.

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He downloaded a smartphone software to edit PDF paperwork and downloaded his discover of evaluation for the 12 months 2019. He then used the app to exchange his name, NRIC quantity and deal with together with his brother’s particulars.

He requested his brother for images of his NRIC, saying he wanted it to assist him apply for a job as a GrabFood supply rider. His brother accordingly despatched him images of his NRIC, and Aqib submitted a web based software to OCBC Bank for a bank card utilizing his brother’s particulars in May 2020.

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Aqib additionally solid a Central Provident Fund assertion and payslips that Singapore Airlines had purportedly given to his brother. He used these paperwork to make 4 purposes for bank cards or loans to 4 different banks that month: UOB, CIMB, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank.

OCBC Bank found that the discover of evaluation was solid, because the addresses in the doc didn’t match. None of Aqib’s purposes was accepted by the banks, and no loss was induced.

Police started investigating the matter after an OCBC Bank officer lodged a police report.


Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department seemed for Aqib’s brother as a part of their investigations and arrested him. When Aqib came upon, he deleted paperwork from his telephone together with the cast discover of evaluation, in addition to his brother’s telephone invoice and CPF historical past.

Aqib was interviewed by the police on Jun 4, 2020. His telephone was seized and the deleted paperwork retrieved by way of forensic extraction.

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The prosecution requested for six months’ jail, noting that Aqib had solid a doc that was purportedly issued by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

He additionally implicated an harmless third social gathering, his personal brother, in police investigations by utilizing his particulars in the cast doc, stated the prosecutor.

Defence lawyer S S Dhillon requested for the minimal jail time period potential, saying his shopper has been suspended from the pressure and has three youngsters together with his spouse.

“He has served SPF with distinction for the last 10 years and his last held rank was staff sergeant,” stated Mr Dhillon.

He stated Aqib gave “10 best years of his life” to SPF, and is “a man who is proud to wear the uniform”.

He stated Aqib “never wanted to implicate his brother”, and advised the investigating officer “my brother is innocent”, and therefore his brother was by no means charged.

The choose identified that his brother could be legally liable anyway because the bank cards would have been despatched to his deal with.

When he requested why Aqib deleted the paperwork in his telephone, Mr Dhillon stated it was “guilt”.

“As a policeman, he will know this is evidence, right,” countered the choose.

“At no point of time did he realise – that if I delete this … I will be perverting the course of justice. Even as a police officer he doesn’t know that,” stated Mr Dhillon.

He was reminded of the hazard of qualifying the responsible plea, and reiterated that his shopper admitted to the costs.

In sentencing, the choose took notice that no loans or bank cards had been issued, however that 5 banks had been concerned, on prime of an harmless social gathering who was arrested by the police.

He allowed Aqib to defer his jail time period to January so he might full some examinations for a level he’s pursuing.

For committing an act that tends to impede the course of justice, he might have been jailed up to seven years, fined, or each.

For forgery, he might have been jailed up to 10 years and fined.

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