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Guardians of Our Home: Taking a Global View of Fighting Crime

Tenacity, empathy and a heart to serve – these are the qualities that Daniel Neubronner brings to his work in combating transnational crime.
PHOTOS: Soo Jun Xiang

Guardians of Our Home is a series that features civilian careers in the Home Team. Check out the MHA Merit Scholarship to learn how you can pursue a fulfilling career and jump-start your leadership journey as a Commercial Affairs Officer.

Senior Investigation Officer, International Cooperation Branch, Financial Investigation Group, Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), Singapore Police Force (SPF)

Serving the public is something that Daniel has always wanted to do. After graduating from Nanyang Technological University in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy, Daniel found his purpose as a Senior Investigation Officer with CAD.

"It's meaningful to serve the public," said Daniel, "and to be involved with fighting commercial crime – this is what attracted me to the role. 

Now with his fellow officers, Daniel investigates commercial crime (such as money laundering) that often involves foreign players and the embezzlement of millions of dollars. “I find it very meaningful to serve the public as a civilian officer, by enforcing the law, deterring criminal schemes and aiding victims in recovering lost assets,” he said.


Fighting Crime Across Borders
To counter the global threat posed by commercial crime, CAD’s International Cooperation Branch works to strengthen ties between SPF, the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and law enforcement agencies around the world, as well as with witnesses and victims in other countries. 

Workshops and courses are also available to support officers in sharpening their knowledge in specific fields of law enforcement. "For example, I attended a workshop on financial intelligence, which was hosted by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, Australia's national financial intelligence unit," shared Daniel. "The knowledge and case studies shared during the workshop greatly benefitted attendees, enhancing our knowledge."

“Globalisation has propelled the growth of the international community, but has also made certain crimes harder to detect and deter,” said Daniel. “Combating these effectively requires close collaboration between countries, and I’m proud to be actively contributing to this effort.”

On the Trail
According to Daniel, there’s no “typical” day of work for him as a Senior Investigation Officer. As part of his work, he’s often required to trace funds across numerous bank accounts and geographical borders, as well as to scrutinise large amounts of data and documents within computer systems. As Daniel noted, perseverance is key. “In this line of work,” he explained, “it’s important that we meticulously review each piece of information we discover and actively seek evidence that may not be readily apparent.”


Each case typically requires months of investigative work before recommendations can be made regarding further proceedings. “On certain cases, we’ll also collaborate with our uniformed counterparts by sharing intelligence and conducting concurrent investigations,” said Daniel. 

Another vital quality for Investigation Officers is empathy. “To obtain information that will help us progress an investigation, we need to conduct interviews with victims, witnesses and suspects,” said Daniel. “Cultivating good interview skills, especially the ability to empathise with the interviewee, is important to achieving our objectives. We do our best with the keen understanding that every investigation is uniquely significant to the victims involved.”

Passion and Resilience Against Challenging Crimes
Even as Daniel sharpens his skills as an Investigation Officer, he’s looking forward to contributing to the Force in other ways as well. “I’ll be conducting investigative work over the next few years,” he shared, “after which I’ll have the opportunity to make a lateral transfer to another department, or go for a secondment at another Home Team Department.”

Noting the flexibility offered by internal postings and external secondments, Daniel looks forward to gaining greater expertise across different specialisations and job scopes, allowing him to grow further professionally. 


Given the challenges of his role, what keeps Daniel going is a passion to serve and a willingness to commit fully to each and every case. “It’s one thing to be aware of crimes that are being conducted across borders, but another to actively contribute to collaborative crimefighting efforts between countries,” he said. “That’s what we do at CAD’s International Cooperation Branch, and it’s an experience that cannot be easily replicated in other roles.”


Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Merit Scholarship 
The MHA Merit Scholarship is awarded to outstanding individuals who are passionate about strengthening Singapore’s security and public safety. 

Recipients of the MHA Merit Scholarship may choose from a variety of exciting and rewarding Home Team careers according to their interests and aspirations. This civilian scholarship offers six career tracks: a generalist track as a Home Affairs Senior Executive and five specialist tracks in Intelligence; Psychology; Commercial Affairs; Science and Technology; and Internal Security. 

Applications are now open! Click here to learn more about the MHA Merit Scholarship.

Guardians of Our Home
- Home Affairs Senior Executive career track: An Eye on the Future
- Intelligence career track: A Police Analyst at Work
- Psychologist career track: Busting Myths About Being a Home Team Psychologist
- Science and Technology career track: At Work with a Crime Scene SpecialistRecovering Digital Evidence to Fight Crime
- Internal Security career track: Internal Security, from the Inside

Written by

Vivian Moh


31 December 2020

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