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10 people charged with breaking COVID-19 laws by gathering for tea, study or chat at rented home

10 people charged with breaking COVID-19 laws by gathering for tea, study or chat at rented home

File photo of the State Courts in Singapore (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Seven men and three women were charged on Friday (May 22) with various offences for breaching COVID-19 laws by gathering at a rented home to drink tea, talk or study.

Three tenants at 34A Kim Keat Road are accused of inviting seven others over for social purposes on the morning of May 5.

Under the COVID-19 regulations, meeting members of other households for a social purpose is prohibited and punishable by a maximum six-month jail term, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both.

The three tenants are: Indian nationals Avinash Kaur, 27, Navdeep Singh, 20, and Sajandeep Singh, 21.

The seven visitors are: Indian nationals Arpit Kumar, 20, Bhullar Jasteena, 23, Karmjit Singh, 30, Mohammed Imran Pasha, 26, Sharma Lukesh, 21, Vijay Kumar, 20, and Waseem Akram, 33.

Avinash was given one charge of allowing Bhullar to enter the home to study at 11.30am on May 5. Bhullar is accused of meeting Avinash to study and prepare for a school assignment.

Navdeep was handed three charges of allowing Waseem, Arpit and Mohammed Imran to enter the same house to talk and have tea at 9am the same day.

The third tenant, Sajandeep, was given three charges as well. He is accused of permitting Vijay, Karmjit and Sharma into the home to talk and have tea that morning.

The visitors face a corresponding charge each. Vijay is accused of meeting Sajandeep to study and discuss an assignment, while Sharma allegedly met Sajandeep to talk and collect some items and Karmjit purportedly met Sajandeep to collect items as well.

Karmjit said he was not aware of the law, while Imran said he arrived in Singapore just two months ago and was not aware of the rules.

Bhullar said she did not mean to "harm the rules of Singapore" and said she had to prepare for an assignment.

She said her intentions "are not bad" and that she cannot pay a high fine as she is a student. 

"Maybe I made a mistake, I just regret it," she said through an interpreter.

The three tenants said they will be pleading guilty and will return to court to do so on Jun 3.

Most of the visitors are set to plead guilty as well, except Bhullar who will return for a pre-trial conference next month.

The penalties for breaking the COVID-19 regulations are a maximum of six months' jail, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both.

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Source: CNA/ll(nc)


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