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Man jailed, fined for breaking COVID-19 rules to provide carpooling service during circuit breaker

Man jailed, fined for breaking COVID-19 rules to provide carpooling service during circuit breaker

Juhari Supari was jailed for three days and fined S$1,800. (Photo: LTA)

SINGAPORE: A man who offered carpooling services during the COVID-19 "circuit breaker" last year was on Friday (Dec 3) sentenced to three days in jail and a fine of S$1,800.

Juhari Supari, 52, was convicted of three charges, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

These include using an unlicensed vehicle to provide transport services and using an improperly insured vehicle to ferry passengers.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months. 

Juhari was a technical officer at SP Group at the time of the offences and had been placed on a work-from-home arrangement amid the COVID-19 circuit breaker, when social gatherings and many non-essential activities were put on hold.

According to court documents, he was a member of Telegram group "SGHitch" which has since been renamed "COVID-19 Lockdown SGHitch".

On Apr 22, 2020, Juhari posted a message in the chat at about 2.55pm, saying "Driver looking for Pax". He stated that the pick-up point should be in the Compassvale area and the drop-off point at Thomson Medical Centre, where he was planning to get his wife.

"A prospective passenger by the name of 'Decha' responded to the accused’s post, and at about 4.15pm, the accused accepted the carpooling request to ferry the said passenger from Blk 447A Fernvale Road to Novena Square for a fare of S$7," said the prosecutor in the statement of facts.

Two male passengers boarded Juhari's car at about 5.20pm and they paid the fare in cash. 

At about 5.25pm, an LTA enforcement officer stopped his car along Yio Chu Kang Road. 

According to the prosecutor, Juhari told the passengers to tell the LTA officer that they were his friends. But when the officer asked for their names, Juhari was not able to provide the information. 

Earlier this year, another man who left his house to provide carpooling services during the circuit breaker was jailed and fined as well. He was also a member of the Telegram group.

Source: CNA/jt(gs)


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