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COVID-19: 5 people plead guilty to gathering for party; two incidents occurred at the same location

SINGAPORE: During the pandemic, when large gatherings were not allowed, two separate groups of people went to a unit in Midview City for a 13-person karaoke party and a 40-person birthday party.

Five people pleaded guilty to their respective offences of breaking COVID-19 regulations on Friday (May 21), with one woman fined S$2,000 for breaking social gathering limits. 

Probation suitability reports were called for the rest, who are aged 20 and below.

In the first case, Clarie Koh Qian Ping, 21, was given the S$2,000 fine. She pleaded guilty to one charge of meeting with others for a social purpose without reasonable excuse. A second charge of leaving her home for a non-permitted activity was considered in sentencing.

READ: 52 arrested for suspected COVID-19 safe distancing offences at Midview City in Sin Ming

Two co-accused also pleaded guilty to similar charges: Darren Sam Yi Lo, 20, and a 17-year-old girl who cannot be named under the Children and Young Persons Act.

Their co-accused Joel Ang Yun Nan, 25, had rented the unit at Midview City in Sin Ming Lane as a public entertainment outlet, playing music and selling liquor there. 

He decided to invite his friends to the unit for his birthday party on Jan 8, 2021, asking them to invite their friends for the party that would involve "a lot of people", the court heard.

A total of 40 people, mostly in their 20s, left their homes and went to the unit, arriving from 10pm on Jan 8, 2021.

An operations manager of KH Security Agency - the firm in charge of security at Midview City - was informed by his team that people were seen entering and leaving the unit.

He went down to check at around midnight and saw that the unit was locked. However, music was being played and people were waiting around the area. He called the police.

Police arrived at the location later that morning and found 40 people inside, drinking liquor and chatting. The maximum allowed group size for social gatherings then was eight individuals.

In the second case, also at the same location but involving a separate group of individuals, Ang decided to host another party. This was despite him being arrested for the first incident.

A total of 13 people, mostly in their 20s, went to the Midview City unit on the night of Jan 16, 2021.

The operations manager of the security firm called the police again about the place being used for "illegal karaoke". The police arrived at 3.35am and heard loud music coming from the unit.

They entered and saw speakers and other sound transmission devices installed in the unit, with the 13 individuals drinking liquor and chatting inside.

The maximum allowed group size for social gatherings then was eight people.

Two of the partygoers in this second incident pleaded guilty on Friday: Jayden Ang Jin Jie, 20, and 19-year-old Faith Princess Lim Yu Qing.

The prosecution called for a S$2,000 fine for all the accused in both cases, and did not object to the calling of probation suitability reports for those under 21.

Sentencing will be at a later date, while the cases for the other individuals are pending.

Source: CNA/ll(ta)


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