3 People Arrested For Illegally Collecting Over 160 Face Masks, Used Personal Information Of Others To Do So

Since the start of the pandemic, the Singapore government has provided citizens with a steady supply of reusable face masks. Unfortunately, this has also prompted various individuals to hoard them illegally.

Free Temasek Foundation Masks Out On 30 Nov, Find Them At Vending Machines Islandwide

Recently, 3 individuals were arrested for illegally redeeming over 160 face masks between 30 Nov and 5 Dec during Temasek Foundation’s 3rd distribution exercise.

Face masks

This left others who needed them empty-handed when they visited machines.

Illegally obtained info used to redeem face masks

From 30 Nov to 5 Dec, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) received reports of individuals who couldn’t collect their masks from the vending machines by Temasek Foundation, reports The Straits Times (ST).

Upon checking the records, the police found that the masks ‘assigned’ to them have already been redeemed.

Face masks

As you can probably guess, someone else had redeemed the mask using their personal details.

Thankfully, the police were able to identify the suspects thanks to CCTVs installed in the vending machines, reports Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

The offenders who have been arrested are:

  1. A 38-year-old man who redeemed over 40 masks at Ang Mo Kio
  2. A 41-year-old woman who redeemed over 60 masks at Clementi
  3. A 52-year-old man who redeemed over 60 masks at Bedok Reservoir Road

The cases are reportedly unrelated but the perpetrators had used illegally-obtained personal information to redeem the masks.

This begs the question of how the offenders managed to gather the confidential information in the first place.

More face masks hoarded previously

Unfortunately, these are not the only cases that have surfaced recently.

In a press release dated 11 Dec, the police said they are investigating 10 people for the unauthorised redemption of face masks from vending machines.

One case involved a 47-year-old woman who allegedly redeemed 460 face masks from Yio Chu Kang CC — that’s a lot for a family, let alone 1 person.

Vending machineSource

According to Singapore Legal Advice, illegally obtaining personal information may result in a fine of up to $10,000, jail time of up to 3 years, or both.

Hope the arrests serve as deterrence

The hoarding of masks in the midst of a pandemic is a selfish act that may leave others with inadequate protection against the spread of Covid-19.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of these incidents is that the cases were unrelated, meaning multiple parties had the idea to collect more than what they needed.

Let’s hope the arrests serve as deterrence for potential offenders.

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Featured image by MS News and is for illustration purposes only.