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Man and woman charged with flouting COVID-19 laws for massage and sex services during Phase 1 of reopening

Man and woman charged with flouting COVID-19 laws for massage and sex services during Phase 1 of reopening

File photo of the State Courts in Singapore (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A man and a woman were charged on Wednesday (Sep 23) with various offences of flouting COVID-19 regulations by meeting each other for massage and sex services during Phase 1 of Singapore's reopening, when social gatherings were limited following the lifting of the "circuit breaker".

Ma Changjin, a 51-year-old China national, was given three charges of breaking COVID-19 regulations by failing to wear a mask, meeting his co-accused for a purpose other than work, and failing to stay at home without reasonable excuse.

Zhang ShaoHui, a 52-year-old Singapore permanent resident, received four charges, with three mirroring Ma's but with one extra charge for carrying on a business of providing massage services without a licence under the Massage Establishments Act.

According to charge sheets, Ma left his home and headed to a massage establishment at People's Park Centre at 101 Upper Cross Street at about 2pm on Jun 13.

At the time, Singapore was in Phase 1 of its reopening, where people could leave home only for essential activities, and seniors were urged to continue to stay home.

Some businesses were allowed to reopen with certain safe management measures, and non-essential activities and social gatherings remained prohibited.

Ma allegedly met Zhang for a body massage and sexual services at the third-floor shop, and did not wear a mask.

According to charge sheets, Zhang had been convicted in court in January of an offence under the Massage Establishments Act.

If convicted under the same act, she will be liable for enhanced punishments of up to five years' jail, a maximum fine of S$20,000, or both.

Both Zhang and Ma will return to court on Oct 7.

For each count of breaching a COVID-19 regulation, they can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

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Source: CNA/ll

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