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'Stern actions' taken against dormitory residents for sneaking in alcohol, cigarettes: MOM

'Stern actions' taken against dormitory residents for sneaking in alcohol, cigarettes: MOM

Screengrabs from video posted on Singapore Road Accident Facebook page.

SINGAPORE: "Stern actions" have been taken against residents of migrant worker dormitories involved in sneaking in "unauthorised" alcohol and cigarettes, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Friday (Sep 18).

In response to CNA's queries about a video in which auxiliary police officers were seen disposing of alcohol down a drain, the ministry said MOM and the police are "aware of cases where unauthorised alcohol and cigarettes were brought into the dormitories over the past few months".

"These activities were put to a stop promptly and stern actions have been taken against the residents involved, including imposition of administrative penalties by the dormitory operators," said MOM in a statement.

On Thursday, a video was posted on the Singapore Road Accident Facebook page with the caption: "Worker tried to smuggle alcohol into dormitory and got caught".

In its response, MOM said that with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has suspended the sale and consumption of alcohol "to avoid any potential law and order issues". 

READ: General manager fined for wrongful confinement of three foreign workers

READ: COVID 19 - No spike in number of migrant worker suicides, says MOM

POSSIBLE GRADUAL EASING OF ALCOHOL BAN

Before COVID-19, residents were allowed to consume alcohol and smoke in designated areas within the dormitories. Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the rooms under the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act.

"As the COVID-19 situation stabilises in the dormitories, MOM, in consultation with the dormitory operators, will consider gradually relaxing the rules and allow moderate consumption of alcohol within the dormitory premises," said the ministry.

"In the meantime, the authorities will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with the dormitory operators to implement measures to prevent recurrence, including stepping up checks of persons and vehicles entering the dormitories."

IN FOCUS: The long, challenging journey to bring COVID-19 under control in migrant worker dormitories

READ: How MOM’s new ACE Group intends to fight COVID-19 infections at previously cleared dormitories

In the video uploaded on Thursday, several Certis officers were seen emptying bottles of what looked like beer and liquor into a drain.

Certis told CNA on Thursday it was investigating the incident, adding that its officers were "assisting" in the disposal of confiscated alcohol.

It identified the location of the incident as Tuas View Dormitory, which is operated by TS Group.

CNA has asked TS Group to comment on the incident.

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Source: CNA/jt

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