A Singaporean boy, who is a minor, is assisting the police in the circulation of a screenshot of a hoax statement which looked as if it was from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) website.
The screenshot announced the passing of former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.
The police said in a statement on Friday 20 March, that the suspect, a student, is believed to have operated alone.
They added that the suspect is believed to have modified an earlier media statement by the Prime Minister Office (PMO).
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect was believed to have modified an earlier 2010 PMO media statement hosted on the PMO website and subsequently sent out a photo of the modified content,”
The boy who is less than the age of 16, is currently assisting the police with investigations for the offence of Access with Intent to Commit or Facilitate Commission of Offence under Section 4(1) of the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act.
The police said it was alerted to “multiple messages that were being circulated regarding a screenshot photograph of a statement purportedly from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) website” at about 10.10pm on Wednesday, and established the suspect’s identity within 24 hours.
Acting Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Assistant Commissioner of Police Sekher Warrier, advised members of public not to spread falsehoods. “The Police take a very stern view against anyone who doctors a government website to spread false information to deceive the public. Individuals who do so must be prepared to face the consequences under the law,” the police said.
While the charges carries a punishment of a fine of up to S$50,000 and/or a jail term up to 10 years but as the boy is under the age of 16 years old, the Children and Young Persons Act is applicable.