15-year-old girl reportedly lived in Circuit Road Market stall for 11 months

Girl reportedly lived in Circuit Road Market with father, man assisting investigations

While inspecting a wet market in Singapore, National Environment Agency (NEA) officers reportedly found that a teenage girl had been living there for about 11 months.

Though stallholders had seen the 15-year-old in the stall in Circuit Road Market and Food Centre, none of them reported it to the authorities.

Source: Google Maps

A 63-year-old man is assisting in investigations.

Girl sent to hospital for check-up

The incident was reported to the Child Protective Service (CPS) by NEA on 3 April, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) told Lianhe Zaobao.

CPS subsequently sent the girl to hospital for a check-up for her safety and well-being.

The necessary arrangements have been made for her care after her discharge, the ministry also said.

The authorities declined to disclose further information to protect the privacy of the girl and her family, and because the police investigation is ongoing.

The girl and her father are understood to be Singapore permanent residents.

Girl found during NEA inspection of Circuit Road Market

MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling said NEA made the discovery during an inspection of the market in early April.

Source: Google Maps

She was “shocked” when the agency told her about it as she visited the market frequently.

Her most recent visit was during Chinese New Year, and she hadn’t noticed anything unusual at the time.

Ms Tin said she was worried for the girl as she is just a child.

Girl had lived in Circuit Road for 11 months

When Ms Tin asked MSF about the girl, she learnt that she had lived at Circuit Road Market for about 11 months.

The MP was also told that the girl is currently fine.

She urged the public to notify the authorities if they notice anything abnormal in the neighbourhood.

Even though it could be a false alarm, at least the matter can be investigated to ascertain whether there’s any issue, she said.

63-year-old man assisting with investigations

In response to queries, the Singapore Police Force released a statement to MS News saying they received a call for assistance on 4 April at about 11.50am.

The location was Block 80 Circuit Road — the address of Circuit Road Market and Food Centre.

Source: Google Maps

A 63-year-old man is assisting with investigations into a case of ill-treatment of a child or young person by neglect under the Children and Young Persons Act 1993.

According to Singapore Statutes Online, those found guilty of such an offence may be jailed for up to eight years and/or fined up to S$8,000.

Police investigations are currently ongoing.

Mattress & soft toys seen in stall

The girl and her father lived in one of three stalls the father had rented, stallholders told Zaobao.

Inside the stall, estimated to be about 2m by 3m in size, the newspaper found a mattress on the floor with two soft toys on it, as well as a table and refrigerator.

The three stalls were shuttered and stallholders said they hadn’t seen the girl and her father since the NEA inspection weeks ago.

A 75-year-old stallholder, Pan Huanhua (transliterated from Mandarin), who has worked in the market for 23 years, said he first saw them about 10 years ago.

In the daytime, the iron grilles were closed, so he rarely saw the girl outside the stall, he added.

Girl relieved herself in buckets: Stallholder

Another stallholder said he’d seen the father taking his daughter to use the toilet in the market in the past.

However, a bad smell started emanating from the stall in recent years.

He believed the girl relieved herself in buckets inside the stall, causing a stench that could be smelt by all.

Girl never spoke, seldom seen alone

A 60-year-old stallholder surnamed Liang (transliterated from Mandarin) said he’d never heard the girl speak nor wear a school uniform.

She would smile at him sometimes when he walked by the stall, but her father would shut the grilles nervously, he added.

Also, he’d seen the girl walking around the market by herself only a few times. Other times, she would be with her father, who followed her closely.

Stallholders also added that they had advised the man to seek help from the authorities but he had replied that he didn’t need any help.

Also read: Homeless Woman Isolates Herself Outside Toa Payoh Lor 8 Market After Testing Covid-19 Positive

Homeless Woman Isolates Herself Outside Toa Payoh Lor 8 Market After Testing Covid-19 Positive

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Featured image adapted from Google Maps and Lianhe Zaobao.








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