A traffic police inspector who molested four full-time national servicemen (NSF) over the course of their duties in a police station was a decorated officer who had served the force for 31 years, the court heard on Wednesday (21 June).
Mohd Taufik Abu Bakar, 55, first joined the force in 1982 and held the rank of inspector.
He was due to retire on 10 May last year but had his pension revoked after he was charged and eventually convicted of molesting his four subordinates in 2015.
The NSFs, who were between 19 and 22 years old then, were posted as Special Constables to a team overseen by Taufik. They cannot be named to protect their identity.
In mitigation, Taufik’s lawyer Gino Hardial Singh told the court on Wednesday that his client had won numerous awards and commendations during his service. Taufik also suffers from minor coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes, he added.
The lawyer argued that the four victims were not vulnerable as they were young adults who could protect themselves and find legal recourse.
He asked the court to impose on his client eight months’ jail for two of the charges each and a fine for the other four charges each.
Taufik was convicted on six charges of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of the four NSFs after a trial last year. He was acquitted of one count of molesting a fifth special constable.
On 10 September 2015, he told a 19-year-old NSF that his body odour caused him a headache and asked if he ever shaved his armpits and pubic region. After obtaining the NSF’s number, Taufik began asking to “date” the NSF.
Two days later, Taufik told the NSF that several officers had complained of his body odour and one had even said she felt like vomiting. He insisted on teaching the NSF how to use hair removal cream and body scrub and offered him the use of the shower in his flat.
The next day, when the NSF arrived at Taufik’s flat in Jalan Tenega, he went alone to the master bedroom toilet to apply the hair cream. He opened the door slightly when Taufik checked on his progress, but later forgot to lock.
As he continued to apply the cream, Taufik barged in and began applying the cream to the NSF’s armpit and pubic region. According to court documents, the NSF said that felt “frozen”, “lost” and that he “could not react” to the situation.
Taufik then instructed the NSF to lie on a ground sheet in the master bedroom before massaging his body with a body scrub, including his buttocks. He helped the NSF rinse off the product in the toilet, with the latter noticing that Taufik had an erection while doing so.
After sending the NSF home, Taufik told him via WhatsApp, “Let me know if you feel lonely and need me to accompany you. You can stay over at my place and let me know.”
Between January and June 2015, Taufik also sexually harassed three other NSFs in his team by squeezing or slapping their buttocks. He also pinched the nipples of one of the NSFs.
Shortly after the NSFs joined the team, Taufik started addressing them with terms of endearment such as “sayang” or “baby”. He also became physical with his victims through light touches on the shoulders. He gradually grew bolder by stroking the NSFs’ chests, or putting his arm around their waist. He also made dirty jokes to them.
When the NSFs reacted adversely to his actions, Taufik would laugh or grin at them. The NSFs did not report Taufik to a higher authority despite feeling violated.
The offence came to light on 16 September 2016 after the incident in Taufik’s master bedroom. The NSF involved decided to report the incident to an NS Probationary Inspector and the matter was escalated to the Head of Investigation for TP.
In an earlier hearing, the prosecution asked for 32 months’ jail saying that Taufik abused his position of trust and authority as the NSF’s superior. He also committed the offences while on duty as a law enforcement officer within the premises of a police station, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Chong.
“All four victims were young men serving their National Service with the Police, whose rites of passage in service of country have been forever besmirched by (Taufik’s) wanton violation of their bodies for his own perverse gratification,” she said.
Taufik, who is due to be sentenced on 2 July, faces up to two years’ jail and a fine on each count of molestation. He cannot be caned as he is over 50.