Cabby jailed for transmitting false message on Covid-19 closures
He is among four who plead guilty to offences during the coronavirus outbreak
A taxi driver posted a false message in a Facebook group, claiming he had received information that all foodcourts and coffee shops would close and supermarkets would open only two days a week.
He was one of four men who pleaded guilty in a district court yesterday to offences during the coronavirus outbreak.
In his Facebook post, 40-year-old Kenneth Lai Yong Hui also stated: "Better go stock up your stuff for the next month or so."
He was sentenced to four months' jail after pleading guilty to transmitting the false message.
Lai claimed that sometime between April 15 and 16, he saw a text message on WhatsApp which said hawker centres and coffee shops would be closed.
Without taking any steps to verify the content of the alleged message, Lai posted a message in the "Taxiuncle" private Facebook group which had about 7,500 members.
He stated: "Got intel say sg will proceed with more measures in place... Foodcourts, coffee shop all to close. Supermarkets will only open two days a week.
"Better go stock up your stuff for the next month or so. Govt officials in meeting yesterday and will (finalise) measures tomorrow."
A few people later commented on his post, advising him not to spread rumours and he deleted it about 15 minutes later.
Two of the remaining three men convicted in court yesterday are Singaporeans. They were Quresh Singh Sandhu, 27, and Zahari Samat, 60. The fourth man, Arvinish N. Ramakrishnan, 23, is a Malaysian.
Singh was sentenced to six weeks' jail. He was served with a stay-home notice (SHN) at around 3pm on March 17 after returning to Singapore from Batam.
As part of the notice, he was supposed to remain at his Sembawang Drive home until March 31.
Instead of going straight home after clearing immigration, he went to Harbourfront MRT station, took a train to Bayfront MRT station and headed to Marina Bay Sands (MBS) where he worked as a security officer.
He started his shift at 8pm and later took a train to Rochor MRT station when his shift ended at 8am the next day.
Subsequently, he went to his company's lodging place at the Snooze Inn in Dunlop Street in Little India where he shared a room with three colleagues.
Singh repeated this routine of commuting between Snooze Inn and MBS from then until March 21.
Arvinish had unlawfully met up with one of his Malaysian friends, Mr Siddhartha Gauthma Robat, 27, on April 19.
Mr Siddhartha had gone to Arvinish's Yishun flat at around midnight for a drinking session. Arvinish offered to give Mr Siddhartha a lift home later that morning.
Mr Siddhartha was riding pillion on Arvinish's motorcycle when a traffic police officer stopped them for a spot check in Yishun Avenue 6. Arvinish was later found to have 43mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The prescribed limit is 35mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
Zahari returned to Singapore from Batam on April 1. He was then given an SHN, stating he had to remain at home until April 15. But he left his North Bridge Road flat on April 8.
Arvinish and Zahari will be sentenced on June 3.