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Singapore

2 charged with cheating, forgery involving COVID-19 support scheme applications

2 charged with cheating, forgery involving COVID-19 support scheme applications

(File photo: AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev)

SINGAPORE: Two men were charged in court on Friday (Jan 29) in separate cases of cheating and forgery offences in connection with the COVID-19 Support Grant and Temporary Relief Fund schemes, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a news release.

The two support schemes were administered by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and provided financial assistance to Singaporeans affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ong Hong Beng, Benny allegedly attempted to cheat MSF into paying out the COVID-19 Support Grant by falsely claiming to have lost his job as a result of the pandemic. The 43-year-old is alleged to have submitted a forged retrenchment letter and is also accused of providing other false information to the ministry to support his application for the grant.

MSF did not approve the man’s application, police said.

READ: Probation for NSF who cheated Government out of S$2,500 in COVID-19 grants

READ: Man gets jail for stealing Budget 2020 grocery vouchers, burnt some as offerings for late wife

Mohammad Fauzi Jumari, 48, allegedly cheated MSF into disbursing a S$500 Temporary Relief Fund payment by falsely claiming to have lost at least 30 per cent of his income. The man allegedly provided false information to an MSF officer regarding his application for the payout.

For cheating or attempted cheating, offenders can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined. The offence of forgery for the purpose of cheating also carries a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine. Those convicted of giving false information to a public servant can be jailed for up to two years or fined, or both.

“The police take a serious view against any person involved in dishonest or fraudulent conduct pertaining to applications for Government grants,” SPF said. “Offenders will be dealt with severely in accordance with the law.”

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Source: CNA/kg(ac)

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