Singapore, September 29
A 23-year-old Indian national has been jailed for 25 days after pleading guilty to two charges under the Official Secrets Act for illegally subletting a Singapore public housing estate residential unit to multiple tenants and later passing on alerts to the occupants prior to the inspection raids to ensure they don't get caught, a media report said on Wednesday.
A third charge was taken into consideration against Damandeep Singh, who had managed to evade detection this way at least twice before his own tenancy was terminated, The Straits Times reported.
In 2017, Singh met Housing and Development Board (HDB) enforcement officer Kalayarasan Karuppaya, 55, while the officer was conducting an inspection on a unit that Singh was living in.
Later, they became friends and would occasionally contact each other over the phone.
Singh later moved to another unit, which he illegally sublet to others.
Some 12 or 13 people ended up living in the unit, against the set rule for the maximum number of occupants in a residential unit, and about 200 Singaporean dollars was collected monthly from each of the illegal subtenants.
The HDB, as managers of the housing estate, received complaints from members of the public about suspected overcrowding and noise at the unit.
It also received similar information from the police which had raided the unit on complaints from neighbours.
But Singh received an alert from his friend Kalayarasan about surprise checks of the unit planned by HDB for May 8, 2019, and September 10, 2019.
Singh told the illegal subtenants to quickly move out prior to the inspections, which then found no observable signs of overcrowding or illegal subletting, the report said.
But after HDB enforcement officers informed the unit's owner about the information from police, Singh's tenancy was terminated and the unit was vacated the same month, September 2019.
The offences came to light after the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau received information in January last year about Kalayarasan's tip-offs to Singh.
The HDB officer was also jailed for 25 days last month for offences under the OSA.
For each OSA charge of wrongful communication of information, Singh could have been jailed for up to two years and fined 2,000 Singaporean dollars. PTI
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