SINGAPORE, July 2 — A retired Traffic Police inspector who molested four full-time national servicemen (NSFs) serving as special constables under him has been sentenced to 18 months and one week in jail today.
With his conviction, Mohd Taufik Abu Bakar — a decorated police officer who served the force for more than 30 years — will also lose his retirement benefits, said a police spokesman in reply to TODAY’s queries.
The court heard that between January and September 2015, the 55-year-old — who headed the Traffic Police’s Hit and Run Investigation Team till he was suspended from service in August 2016 — touched and slapped his male subordinates’ buttocks in the Traffic Police headquarters as he called them “darling” and “baby”.
In one instance, on September 10, 2015, he grew so emboldened that he invited one of them to his flat and molested the 21-year-old under the pretext of helping him eradicate his body odour by applying hair removal cream on his armpit and pubic hair.
But as the NSF was applying the cream in Taufik’s toilet on the morning of September 13, Taufik barged in and began putting the cream on the young man’s body, and molested him.
After Taufik sent him home that day, he also texted him: “Let me know if you feel lonely and need me to accompany you. You can also stay over at my place and let me know.”
Taufik’s offences came to light only on September 16, when the NSF told another 22-year-old victim about his ordeal.
The two of them then told a National Service probationary inspector about the offences, who reported it to the Traffic Police’s head of investigation.
Taufik denied his six molestation charges and was only convicted in February following a six-day trial.
The victims cannot be named due to a court gag order.
During the trial, one of the victims testified that Taufik would touch him on the buttocks at least four to five times a month, then grin at him afterwards.
But Taufik claimed during trial that he did so as “a joke”.
During mitigation last month, Taufik’s lawyer Gino Hardial Singh sought for no more than 10 months’ jail and a fine for his client, pointing out that victims were “not vulnerable persons under his care” but young adults who could protect themselves or find possible legal recourse.
But the prosecution sought a jail term of at least 32 months for Taufik, arguing that he had used the body odour excuse as a “convenient pretence”, and had sent the victim messages that were strongly suggestive of grooming.
In sentencing Taufik today, District Judge Jasvender Kaur viewed Taufik’s abuse of his position of authority to be an aggravating factor. She, however, ruled that there was “no premeditation” in the lead up to molesting his victims, noting that some other colleagues had spoken out about the NSF’s body odour matter a few times.
Taufik could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned for each of his molestation charges.
A police spokesman confirmed today that Taufik is no longer with the Singapore Police Force as he had retired on May 10 last year upon reaching his mandatory retirement age. The spokesman reiterated that officers “are expected to uphold the law and maintain the highest standards of conduct and integrity”.
“SPF takes a zero-tolerance approach to officers who break the law, and will deal severely with such officers in accordance with the law, including charging them in Court. We will also not hesitate to remove them from their positions,” he added.’ — TODAY