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Singapore PR fined over yacht gathering to have future re-entry permit shortened

Singapore PR fined over yacht gathering to have future re-entry permit shortened

Mark Lau San Mao was fined S$3,000 for breaching COVID-19 regulations. (Photo: Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY)

SINGAPORE: A Singapore permanent resident (PR) who breached COVID-19 regulations will have the validity of his re-entry permit shortened on his next renewal, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Tuesday (Mar 2).

Mark Lau San Mao, 30, was fined S$3,000 on Monday for being part of a group of 10 people who took a yacht to Lazarus Island on Dec 26 last year.

At the time of the offence, Singapore was in Phase 2 of its reopening, with a maximum limit of five people imposed on gatherings outside the home.

Singapore entered Phase 3 on Dec 28, with social gatherings of up to eight people now allowed in public.

“Singapore permanent residents who have been convicted of an offence will have their permanent residence status reviewed,” ICA said in a statement.

“In the case of Mr Mark Lau San Mao, ICA will shorten the validity of his re-entry permit on his next renewal.”

Singapore PRs require re-entry permits to travel abroad while retaining their residency status. PRs who leave Singapore or remain overseas without a valid re-entry permit will lose their residency status, ICA says on its website.

Lau, who is a Hong Konger, was among the first two members of the group to be convicted, with the other being British national Amy Grace Ropner, 28.

Ropner, with whom Lau is in a relationship, was also fined S$3,000 for being part of the gathering.

The other eight accused, all British nationals, are: Mark Alexander Bellamy, 29, Annabelle Morgan Duke, 26, Holmes Philip Edward Knatchbull, 27, Amy Alexandra Stewart, 32, Amy Georgina Hunt, 30, Oliver Francis William Campbell, 31, Thomas Cuthbert Williams-Jones, 30, and Benjamin David Waters, 32.

READ: Last 4 people fined over 12-person gathering on Lazarus Island during Phase 2 of COVID-19 outbreak

READ: Man jailed for breaching COVID-19 rules has PR status revoked

Photos and videos of the incident that circulated on social media showed about 10 people on a pleasure craft, with some dancing and wearing Santa hats. 

The 10 were charged in court on Feb 5 with breaking COVID-19 regulations.

They were each given one charge of boarding pleasure craft ADVANT between 11am and 4pm on Dec 26 last year with nine other people outside of their homes for a social purpose without reasonable excuse.

Photos and videos of a gathering on a yacht were shared widely on social media.

In January, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said that the ADVANT vessel would be suspended for 30 days over the incident.

Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, individuals found to have committed an offence may be fined up to S$10,000, jailed up to six months, or both, for their first conviction. 

Subsequent offences carry a maximum fine of S$20,000, imprisonment up to 12 months, or both.

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Source: CNA/kg(cy)
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