Security officer in Singapore charged with causing bomb scare by not disposing fake explosive, leaving post to meet friends

Security officer in Singapore charged with causing bomb scare by not disposing fake explosive, leaving post to meet friends

SINGAPORE, April 9 — A 46-year-old security officer was today handed four charges over his role relating to a bomb scare incident.

Durendran Vicknesh Venkatraman, a Singaporean, was handed one charge each of causing alarm to the public under the Protection from Harassment Act (Poha) and contravening the Private Security Industry (Conduct) Regulations.

He was further accused of giving false information to a public servant and falsifying accounts.

The prosecution today said that it will be proceeding with the charges under Poha and Private Security Industry (Conduct) Regulations, with the remaining two to be taken into consideration during sentencing.

Durendran, who appeared in the State Courts without any legal representation, told the court that he intends to plead guilty.

Court documents stated that at the time of the incident, he was employed by One Imperial Security. The documents did not indicate how long he has been working with the firm.

The court granted Durendran’s request to adjourn his case for him to engage a lawyer. His case will be heard again in court on April 30.

According to court documents, Durendran allegedly caused alarm to the public by not disposing of objects which resembled an improvised explosive device (IED) that was used during an exercise, despite being instructed to dispose of them.

This allegedly happened on Jan 5 this year at an industrial building in Ang Mo Kio.

In a statement yesterday, the police said that they had responded to a call about a suspicious item, suspected to be an IED, at 8.22am on January 5.

The police then assessed that the item was a fake bomb that did not pose any security threat.

“The suspicious item was allegedly left behind as part of a red-teaming exercise conducted by a security company,” said the police yesterday.

Red-teaming exercises are conducted by organisations to test and improve their security effectiveness, through simulating attacks and security breaches.

Today, Durendran was also accused of being absent from the guardhouse without any valid reason to meet his friends at Oxley Tower, located at Robinson Road, for over five hours from 11.21pm on January 4 until 5.05am the next day.

This is the subject of the charge under the Private Security Industry (Conduct) Regulations.

Court documents did not mention why Durendran had allegedly met his friends in the city centre at that hour.

He allegedly told police officers that he was away from the guardhouse to go to a nearby location to purchase food.

Durendran also allegedly falsified a physical record book at the guardhouse to state that he was present from 11.30pm on Jan 4 until 4am on January 5 when he was actually outside meeting with his friends.

The police yesterday said that the poor management of the simulation exercise resulted in the activation of actual police resources and inconvenienced over 100 people who were prevented from entering the premises during the ongoing checks.

If convicted of causing public alarm, Durendran could be fined up to S$5,000 (RM17,513).

A security officer who is found guilty of contravening the Private Security (Conduct) Regulations by abandoning his post without valid reason can be given a fine of up to S$2,000, jailed for up to three months, or both.