7 Arrested For Gambling Illegally And Violating Safe Distancing Measures At Toa Payoh

With dining-in prohibited during Phase 2 Heightened Alert, many seats and tables at hawkers centres have been cordoned off or covered with nettings.

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But it appears this form of soft deterrence isn’t enough to stop everyone from gathering at these places.

On Wednesday (9 Jun), 7 people were caught gambling illegally at a Toa Payoh market.

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Another elderly woman is also assisting the police with their investigations.

Policemen surround group gambling at Toa Payoh market

According to Lianhe Wanbao, a group of people were recently spotted playing Chinese poker at the Block 210 Toa Payoh Lorong 8 hawker centre late at night.

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During their meetups, they would also breach safe distancing measures by gathering in large groups.

At around 3.25am on Wednesday (9 Jun), officers from Tanglin Police Division conducted an operation at the hawker centre.

Passers-by in the area allegedly witnessed over 10 plainclothes policemen surrounding the group of individual who were holding poker cards at the time.

Many of them reportedly fled the scene when they caught sight of the cops.

Several of them were later chased down by the police and brought back to the hawker centre for questioning.

7 arrested for illegal gambling at Toa Payoh hawker centre

A police statement revealed that 8 people were purportedly gathering and engaging in gambling activities.

6 men and 1 woman between 28 and 69 were arrested for gambling in public and for violating safe distancing measures.

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Amongst them, a 55-year-old man is also being suspected of causing annoyance while under the influence of alcohol.

Another 72-year-old woman is also assisting the police with their investigations.

Police warn public not to gamble illegally

Under the Common Gaming Houses Act, those found gaming in the public face up to 6 months’ jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

For violating safe distancing measures, offenders also face up to 6 months’ jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

The 55-year-man could also be jailed for up to 6 months, fined up to $1,000, or both for causing annoyance in the public while drunk.

The police reiterated that they take illegal gambling activities very seriously and will continue to take tough enforcement action against offenders.

They also urged the public to steer clear of such activities and take safe distancing measures seriously.

Stay away from illegal gambling

Gathering in large groups to gamble isn’t just illegal, but also carries transmission risks given we are living in a pandemic.

While it might seem like a bit of harmless fun, it could very easily lead to a large cluster forming if someone was infected.

We hope Singaporeans would cooperate with the tightened measures so we can keep the Covid-19 situation under control ASAP.

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Featured image adapted from Google Maps.