Ex-Certis Cisco team leader at Tuas Checkpoint jailed for molesting subordinates

·Senior Reporter
·3 min read
Tuas Checkpoint (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
Tuas Checkpoint (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — A former Certis Cisco officer who molested his female subordinates was jailed for ten weeks on Monday (25 October) after he touched the thigh of one woman, and smacked the buttocks of another.

The 55-year-old team leader attached to Tuas Checkpoint would frequently comment on the physical appearance of his female colleagues and other women, such as members of the public who were sitting in their cars. 

He would also crack “dirty” jokes about female private parts and sex. While his female team members were disgusted at the comments, they did not dare to show their displeasure since the man was their supervisor.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, pleaded guilty to two charges of molest on Monday, with another two charges of a similar nature taken into consideration for his sentencing.

Responding to Yahoo News Singapore's queries, Certis Cisco said that the man resigned from his position on 17 April last year. He was suspended from duties following his arrest on 27 March.

Facts of the case

The two victims in the proceeded charges were female security officers aged 22 and 23.

On 10 March last year, the younger victim was attached to a team at Tuas Checkpoint for her first day. She was tasked to check vehicles coming into Singapore and the accused man was her team leader.

During a team break, the victim sat on a ventilation pipe while the man sat beside her. He then placed his hand on her thigh and stroked it, while asking about her first day. 

The victim felt shocked and uncomfortable, but had no idea what to do and did not push his hand away.

She made a police report on 27 March, stating that she was molested twice in March by the man.

The older victim was attached to Arrival Hall 2 of Tuas Checkpoint and also tasked to check vehicles which were coming into Singapore. The man was also her team leader.

In February last year, at Arrival Hall 2 of Tuas Checkpoint, the man approached the older victim to inform her of her break time. He then smacked her buttocks over her pants once before walking away. The woman was traumatised by he incident and angry at the man.

She did not dare to report the incident until a while later, when she brought it up to her deputy team leader. The latter reported the incident to her supervisors.

The younger victim revealed during investigations that the man had touched the elder victim inappropriately.

The man's lawyer Cheryl Sim, told the court that the case has been a "grave learning point" in how her client views and treats women, and that he had a lot of "soul searching" to do. She added that her client had been candid with the authorities and was "embarrassed and apologetic" about what happened.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kwang Jia Min disagreed that the man was candid. In his statements, the man "went on at length about how he was confronted by his superior...(and) his first response is 'I'm not afraid, there are CCTV cameras and I did not touch the girl'," she said. 

He had tried to deny the touches and pass them off as accidental, she added. 

District Judge Wong Li Tein accepted that there were more victims than the two named in the proceeded charges and said the man had demonstrated a clear abuse of power.

The man had leveraged on his position of authority and banked on the fact that the victims would not be willing or too fearful to complain about him, she said. 

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