Update with statement from the Singapore Police Force
SINGAPORE — An investigation officer (IO) with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) who asked two women for sexual favours in return for helping them with their cases was jailed for two years on Wednesday (23 September).
Mahendran Selvarajoo, 32, also stole compromising videos and photos of women he investigated from their personal devices without their permission.
The police officer of 10 years pleaded guilty to two charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act and two charges under the Computer Misuse Act. One charge under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act was taken into consideration for his sentencing.
Mahendran first joined the SPF in September 2010. As an IO with the Commercial Crimes Squad, he was tasked to carry out investigations by interviewing witnesses, which was how he got access to his victims.
He was assigned a case involving the misuse of credit card details and recorded the statement of a woman at Clementi Division on 25 April last year. He was told later that the case was assigned to another police division.
Even though he was no longer in charge of the case, Mahendran contacted the woman and asked her to come down to the police station to sign on amendments to her statements. The woman claimed she was busy and the two made arrangements to meet at Nex at 8pm that night. He then told her that he needed to search her laptop for evidence relating to the alleged fraud.
The pair went to the woman’s house where she signed the amended police statement, which contained details in the woman’s favour. Mahendran had inserted the new details to show the woman that he had the power to help her.
Mahendran then looked through the woman’s laptop and discovered her nude photos. He informed her that he needed to take the laptop with him for more investigations and left.
Later that night, Mahendran accessed the laptop and copied out six folders containing the woman’s personal photographs and videos to his portable storage device for his personal purposes.
Mahendran did not have the woman’s permission to do so, nor did he have the authority. After copying the photos, he returned the laptop to the woman at her residence.
When Mahendran reached her residence at 12.39am on 30 April, he told the woman to enter his car. He reassured her about her case and asked her questions about her personal life and relationship. He then drove her to a multi-storey carpark nearby where they engaged in sexual acts.
“The woman did so as she wanted the accused to help her to avoid being prosecuted for the alleged credit card fraud, and she believed that the accused had the power to do so. The accused knew that the woman had agreed to have intercourse with him as she believed that he would be able to help her receive a warning in lieu of prosecution,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Charis Low.
On another occasion, Mahendran recorded the statement of anther woman who was eventually given a stern warning for shop theft. On 28 February 2018, Mahendran contacted the woman to return her handbag and the two later kept in contact via WhatsApp.
When the women became less responsive over time, Mahendran thought of a way to meet up with her. On 26 February last year, he lied to her that her employer’s Human Resources department had contacted SPF regarding the investigations. He knew that the woman would be concerned about losing her job.
He convinced the woman to meet up with him on 27 February last year at Ang Mo Kio shopping mall. Mahendran then offered to drive the woman home but drove to a multi-storey carpark where he asked her to have sex with him. The woman declined, stating that she was on her period.
“The accused asked (the woman) to ‘help (him) to release’ and asked her to give him a ‘handjob’… instead. The woman acquiesced as she was worried about her employer’s queries and wanted the accused to help her by managing the queries in a favourable manner,” said DPP Low.
The woman complied again when Mahendran requested for a second “handjob”.
Mahendran also copied explicit videos involving a woman he recorded a statement from in May last year. He asked the woman to hand over her laptop and phone. He then copied three sexually explicit videos involving the woman and her boyfriend into his USB flash drive for his own personal viewing.
In response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore, the police said, “Officers of the Singapore Police Force are expected to uphold the law and maintain the highest standards of conduct and integrity. We deal severely with officers who break the law, including charging them in court.
“Staff Sergeant Mahendran s/o Selvarajoo has been interdicted from service since 15 May 2019. Following his conviction on 23 September 2020, SPF has commenced disciplinary proceedings against him.”
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