SINGAPORE: A 32-year-old man was arrested on Thursday (May 28) after more than 200 Government-issued face masks were fraudulently redeemed from vending machines.
The man is suspected of using illegally obtained personal information to redeem the face masks from vending machines.
The police said in a news release on Friday that they received several reports on Wednesday and Thursday from victims who were unable to collect their Government-issued face masks from vending machines at various collection points in Singapore.
“Checks against the system’s records indicated that their face masks had already been redeemed,” the police added.
The man was arrested on Thursday after Bedok Police Division officers identified him with the aid of images from police cameras.
More than 200 face masks were recovered and seized as case exhibits.
Preliminary investigations revealed that between Tuesday and Thursday, the man had "fraudulently redeemed" more than 200 face masks from 24-hour vending machines located at 10 Simei Street 2, the police said.
He had done so by using personal information illegally obtained from his previous job as a manpower recruiter for a recruitment company.
The man will be charged in court on Saturday with cheating and retention of illegally obtained personal information.
If found guilty of cheating, he faces up to 10 years’ jail and a fine. If found guilty of retaining illegally obtained personal information, he could be jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.
Bedok Police Division’s head of investigation, Superintendent K Vasanthan, said the authorities take a serious view of this case.
"We were also able to recover more than 200 face masks and prevent further loss of personal protective equipment, which are important to keeping the community safe.”