Representational Image arrest
Secret society members arrested (Representational picture) Reuters

At the State Court on Monday, four men were charged for being part of unlawful or secret societies, under the Societies Act.

As per the reports, Singapore Police Force (SPF) has stated on Sunday, May 27 that they arrested 45-year-old Arulprakash Veliasamy, 44-year-old Jaiseelan Muthusamy, 33-year-old Sanjeev Chandramogan and 32-year-old Kunasegaran Arumugam.

The police also said that these suspects were allegedly involved in a gathering of other secret society members on June 4, 2017, at Block 483 Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 and chanted their society related slogans at the Mandai Crematorium thereafter.

As per the charge sheets, while three of those suspects, Jaiseelan, Kunasegaran and Arulprakash were said to be the members of a secret society called, "Gi Leng Hor", the other one Sanjeev was from "969" secret society. Reports said that both of these societies are parts of one group called "24."

Arulprakash was represented by Rakesh Vasu and Sanjeev represented by Amarick Gill, the lawyers of the other suspects, Jaiseelan and Kunasegaran had sought for more time to make representations regarding the charges.

Even though Arulprakash, Sanjeev and Kunasegaran are out on $5,000 bail now, the court has given orders to Arulprakash and Sanjeev to be present on June 25. However, Kunasegaran told during the hearing that he is planning to challenge the trial by engaging another lawyer. He was also asked to present during the next hearing, which will take place on June 12.

Apart from these three, Jaiseelan has faced additional charges for carrying a knife while roaming around a public place. He told the court that he is ready to plead guilty. On June 12, a pre-trial conference has been arranged, only for his case.

A bail of $15,000 was granted by the District Judge Terence Tay for Jaiseelan but, he was asked not to get involved with any members of the Secret Society. If the officers found him while breaching this conditions, then his bail would be revoked and then he will be remanded.

As per the Societies Act, non registered societies shall be known as an Unlawful or Secret Society. But, none of the societies shall be deemed to be unlawful under this section if and so long as the Registrar is satisfied that –– a) it is organised wholly outside Singapore; and (b) does not carry on any activity in Singapore.

The law against such societies also clarified that any person, who manages or assists in the management of any unlawful society shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.

It also stated that a person who is or acts as a member of an unlawful society or attends a meeting of an unlawful society, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.