50-year-old public servant arrested for sharing classified information on post-circuit breaker plans
SINGAPORE — A 50-year-old Singaporean man has been arrested for sharing classified information on post-circuit breaker plans over WhatsApp, the police said in a statement on Sunday (June 14).
SINGAPORE — A 50-year-old Singaporean man has been arrested for sharing on WhatsApp classified information on plans for activities to be resumed in the second phase of reopening in Singapore's economy.
The police said in a statement on Sunday (June 14) that they received a report on Friday that information about the post-circuit breaker plans was circulating via WhatsApp messages among members of the public. The circuit breaker, which began on April 7, ended on June 1 and the Government had said that business and social activities are to resume in three phases.
The man, a public servant, was an authorised recipient of the classified information, but had allegedly shared it with a private WhatsApp group whose members were not authorised to receive it, the police said.
“The information was subsequently further disseminated from this chat group, resulting in wider circulation of the message,” the police added.
The man was arrested on Saturday for wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act. Investigations are ongoing.
“The Government takes a very serious view of any wrongful communication of confidential information and will deal firmly with anyone who does so,” the police said.
Under the Official Secrets Act, an offence of wrongful communication of information carries a jail term of up to two years and a fine of up to S$2,000.
“Unauthorised recipients should also not further circulate the confidential information received, as they may be similarly liable under the Official Secrets Act,” the police added.
This is not the first time during the pandemic that public servants have been arrested for sharing classified information.
In early April, a 37-year-old woman and her 38-year-old husband were nabbed, after she had allegedly shared a draft joint media statement by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education with her husband, who is not authorised to receive the information.
Later that month, a 35-year-old civil servant was arrested after she allegedly shared the number of new Covid-19 cases with members of a private WeChat group who were not authorised to receive the information.