Suspected hackers and vandals arrested

Suspected hackers and vandals arrested
James Raj Arokiasamy, 35, who allegedly calls himself “The Messiah”, faces four charges, including one for hacking into Ang Mo Kio Town Council’s website.

SINGAPORE - The man who allegedly called himself "The Messiah" was unmasked for the first time in court on Tuesday as a wanted drug offender who had been on the run since 2011.

James Raj Arokiasamy, 35, stood alone in the dock as four criminal charges, including one for hacking into the website of Ang Mo Kio Town Council on Oct 28, were read out to him. The other charges were for drug consumption committed back in May 2011.

He had apparently jumped bail two years ago for the drug offences and had been in hiding until his capture last Monday by the Malaysian police, acting on information from their Singapore counterparts. He was arrested at a Kuala Lumpur condominium where he had carried out the cyber attacks.

The police said on Tuesday that James Raj is believed to be involved in other cyber intrusions including that of The Straits Times' blog site and the PAP Community Foundation's website. The Straits Times understands that, while hiding behind his moniker, he created the video threatening a wave of cyber attacks to protest licensing rules for news websites here.

His appearance in court capped a week in which suspects were rounded up by the police in connection with separate cases of cyber intrusions and vandalism.

Among them were five men being investigated for the hackings of websites belonging to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the Istana last Friday.

Two of the suspects arrested in connection with the PMO incident are brothers, aged 21 and 27. Police confirmed they have been released on bail, while a third, believed to be their brother-in-law, 31, is assisting the police.

Two other men, a 17-year-old Institute of Technical Education student and a 45-year-old IT professional, are being questioned about the attack on the Istana's site. They have not been arrested.

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