We have all been there, slacking off at jobs or forgetting a responsibility here and there, but what if it had been a matter of life and death?

A security guard appeared in court on Tuesday, 9 April 2024, for his actions during a security company’s training exercise involving a simulated bomb at a building in Ang Mo Kio.

Durendran Vicknesh Venkatraman, a 46-year-old Singaporean security officer, was charged with four offenses related to the incident.

He allegedly abandoned his post at the building’s guardhouse, failed to dispose of the simulated bomb as instructed, provided false information to the police, and falsified records to cover up his absence.

Moreover, the simulated explosive device was subsequently reported to the authorities as a suspicious object, prompting the dispatch of police officers to the building to conduct thorough checks.

Incident Took Place During a Bomb Drill Exercise

According to reports, the security company conducted a “red-teaming exercise” using a fake improvised explosive device (IED) at 32 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2 in the early hours of 5 January earlier this year.

The exercise aimed to simulate a real-world threat scenario.

Durendran was reportedly on duty during the exercise but was absent from the scene for more than five hours.

At around 4:30AM, he received a call from the exercise team instructing him to dispose of the fake bomb. However, he allegedly failed to do so as he had forgotten about it.

Subsequently, Durendran provided false information to the police, claiming that he had briefly left the guardhouse to purchase food nearby, when he had allegedly gone to meet friends instead.

Additionally, he forged records in the guardhouse occurrence book to indicate that he was on duty from 11:30PM on 4 January to 4AM on 5 January.

The situation escalated when the fake IED was discovered and caused alarm.

It was reported as a suspicious item, prompting a police response to the building. Officers conducted security checks and determined that the item was a simulated explosive device.

The police statement highlighted the mismanagement of the exercise, which led to the activation of actual police resources and inconvenienced more than 100 people who were prevented from entering the premises during the checks.

During his court appearance, Durendran expressed his intention to plead guilty but requested legal representation. He is scheduled to return to court at the end of the month.

If convicted under the Protection from Harassment Act for causing public alarm, Durendran could face a fine of up to S$5,000 (US$3,700).

Additionally, being absent from duty as a security officer without a valid reason carries a penalty of up to three months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to S$2,000, or both.

Providing false information to a public servant could result in a sentence of up to six months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to S$5,000, or both. Falsifying records carries the most severe penalty, with a potential sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both.

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