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Man charged for making false declaration to opt out of serving stay-home notice at a dedicated facility after arriving from Jakarta

Man charged for making false declaration to opt out of serving stay-home notice at a dedicated facility after arriving from Jakarta

Travellers are seen at Changi Airport, Singapore on Jan 7, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man was charged in court on Friday (Mar 19) under the Infectious Diseases Act for making false declarations in his application to opt out of serving his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility. 

Vijeyakumar Z Joseph, 58, had arrived at Changi Airport on Nov 22, 2020, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in a news release. 

He allegedly declared in a physical declaration form that he did not travel to another country or region apart from countries and regions listed in ICA's SafeTravel website - Fiji, Finland, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey - in the 14 consecutive days prior to entering Singapore. The form was submitted to an ICA officer. 

However, Vijeyakumar was returning from Jakarta, Indonesia, which was not on the list. 

He also allegedly declared that he would be occupying his place of residence alone or with household members with the same travel history as him and serving their stay-home notice during the same duration. 

Since Aug 11, 2020, all travellers serving their stay-home notice outside of dedicated facilities are required to wear an electronic monitoring device throughout their stay-home notice period. With this, the Singapore Government was able to allow travellers from selected places to opt out of serving their stay-home notice at dedicated facilities. 

Instead, travellers can serve it at a suitable place of residence if they have not travelled to any other country or region apart from the selected ones in the 14 consecutive days prior to entering Singapore. 

Travellers were also allowed to opt out of staying in a dedicated facility if they were occupying their place of residence alone, or with household members who share the same travel history and are serving their stay-home notice of the same duration. 

Vijeyakumar later served his stay-home notice from Nov 22, 2020 to Dec 6, 2020, said ICA. 

Enforcement officers conducted checks at his place of residence in Ang Mo Kio on Nov 25, 2020. They allegedly found him residing with two other household members - his elder brother and his father - who did not share the same travel history as him. 

Vijeyakumar was charged on Friday and his case has been adjourned to Apr 9, 2021. 

If found guilty under the Infectious Diseases Act, Vijeyakumar may face a fine to up to S$10,000, a jail term of up to six months or both. 

TRAVELLERS REMINDED TO SUBMIT "TRUTHFUL AND ACCURATE" INFORMATION

"The authorities would like to remind members of the public to submit truthful and accurate information for all health, travel and stay-home notice related declarations," said ICA. "Firm enforcement action will be taken against those found to have made false declarations." 

All travellers who opt to serve their stay-home notice at their place of residence must remain there at all times. Their movements will also be monitored through electronic monitoring and random physical checks. 

Those who make false declarations in seeking to opt out of dedicated stay-home notice facilities will be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act. 

People who fail to comply with stay-home notice requirements, including those who tamper with or remove the electronic monitoring device during their stay-home notice period, will be prosecuted under the Infection Diseases (COVID-19 - Stay Orders) Regulations 2020. 

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Source: CNA/lk(rw)

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