Singapore — An 18-year-old, who was part of the SG Nasi Lemak group charged with sharing photos and videos of naked women in 2019, pleaded guilty on Wednesday (Oct 21) to possessing 59 obscene films.
He was only 17 when he was arrested on Oct 14, 2019, and the youngest of the four men behind the chat group on the messaging app Telegram.
Although his name appeared in the news when he was arrested last year, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports that, under the Children and Young Persons Act, he cannot be named because he was under the legal age at the time he committed the offences.
The police had already begun receiving reports in March last year against SG Nasi Lemak for allegedly sharing pornographic material through Telegram. They received 35 reports in all concerning the chat group, which had 44,000 members.
Police officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division determined the identities of the quartet during investigations from March through October. They were arrested on Oct 14 in different parts of the country and charged via video link the following day.
The three others charged were 19-year-old Justin Lee Han Shi, 26-year-old Leonard Teo Min Xuan and 37-year-old Liong Tianwei.
The investigations showed that Teo and Liong were the administrators of the Telegram group, while the two teenagers were the distributors of the obscene material. Police officers seized more than 10 electronic devices, including a central processing unit, a laptop, a hard disk and several mobile phones, as case exhibits.
The four were charged with conspiracy to commit distribution of obscene material under Section 292(a) read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.
The home of the youngest member was raided on the day of the arrests, which yielded obscene video files in his phone and hard disk. He admitted to the police that he was a member of SG Nasi Lemak.
CNA reports Deputy Public Prosecutor Cheng Yuxi as saying that she did not object to a a probation suitability report prepared in order to determine if the teen is suitable for probation, and noted that he has a clean record and that he is young in age.
Mr Muhammad Hasif Abdul Aziz, the lawyer for the defence, agreed with calling for a probation report. “He’s currently still pursuing further studies. There’s a whole future ahead of him.”
The lawyer urged for rehabilitation to be the predominant sentencing policy, since the teen has a “family support system that’s quite suitable for probation”, including his mother, who took “very, very serious actions against him” after his arrest. He is “very remorseful”, he added.
The teen will return to court for sentencing on Dec 2. Two additional charges will be taken into consideration for sentencing: Sending a photo of two nude women to the chat group and possessing 388 obscene images in his phone for the purpose of transmission.
He faces jail of as long as six months, a fine of at least S$500 per film up to a total of S$20,000, or both. /TISG
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