Singapore police investigating 83 people for allegedly flouting Covid-19 safe-distancing rules to sing, drink and socialise

Singapore police investigating 83 people for allegedly flouting Covid-19 safe-distancing rules to sing, drink and socialise
Singapore police investigating 83 people for allegedly flouting Covid-19 safe-distancing rules to sing, drink and socialise

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The scene of an illegal gathering and items seized from an office unit along Pemimpin Drive by the police. — Picture courtesy Singapore Police Force via TODAY

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SINGAPORE, March 22 — More than 80 people are under investigation for allegedly flouting Covid-19 safe-distancing regulations to sing, drink or socialise in four separate incidents in the past month.

The police said in a news release today that 46 men and 37 women, aged 20 to 58, were allegedly served liquor and provided with public entertainment at office or shophouse units without a valid licence.

One of the suspected operators of the units is a 22-year-old man, preliminary investigations showed.

The police said that he is being investigated for offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, apart from offences under the Public Entertainments Act and Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act.

Four Vietnamese women were arrested at the unit he allegedly operated on suspicion of being employed without a valid work pass.

The women were rounded up during a raid at an office unit along Ubi Avenue 3 on March 18. There, the police found 18 men and 17 women drinking and socialising.

Most entertainment outlets here have not been operating for almost a year — after mandatory restrictions kicked in on March 27 last year as part of the Government’s efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the three other latest cases that the police have highlighted:

Eight men and seven women, aged between 21 and 38, were allegedly drinking, smoking and singing in an office unit along Pemimpin Drive in the Bishan area on Feb 25. Three men were believed to have been acting as “lookouts” for the group, the police said, and the operator of the unit appears to be a 38-year-old man.

On March 1, 12 men and seven women, aged between 21 and 39, were allegedly drinking and singing in a shophouse unit along East Coast Road.

Five men and six women aged 20 to 38 had allegedly gathered in an office unit along Jalan Bukit Merah to drink, smoke and sing on March 13.

The police did not state the age of the suspected operators for the latter two cases above.

The scene at an office unit on Jalan Bukit Merah where people had gathered illegally. Photo: Singapore Police Force

Anyone convicted of breaching Covid-19 laws may be jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$10,000 (RM30.643), or both.

For providing public entertainment and supplying liquor without a valid licence, an offender may be fined up to S$20,000.

Those convicted of employing a foreign employee without a valid work pass could be jailed up to 12 months or fined between S$5,000 and S$30,000, or both.

The police reminded members of the public to take the prevailing safe-distancing regulations seriously.

“The police will continue to take tough enforcement action against criminal activities and breaches under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020,” they added.

“Those found engaging in illicit activities, or in breach of safe-distancing measures, will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law.” — TODAY

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