2 charged with illegally leaving residences, including man who brought friend to hotel room while on SHN

Singaporean Chng Tian Xi allegedly left his hotel room at the Pan Pacific Service Suites Orchard on three occasions. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAPS

SINGAPORE - A man, who had been reminded to stay in his room while serving his stay-home notice (SHN), repeatedly left it to meet friends in his hotel's basement carpark and even brought one of them up to his room.

Singaporean Chng Tian Xi, 37, now faces six charges over breaching the SHN and exposing others to the risk of infection, which are offences under the Infectious Diseases Act and its regulations.

He was one of two men charged in court on Wednesday (May 6) with unlawful movements under Covid-19-related regulations.

Chng had arrived in Singapore from Thailand on March 26, and was to serve his SHN till April 9 at the Pan Pacific Service Suites Orchard, his specified place of accommodation, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in a statement.

However, he allegedly left his hotel room on three occasions to take a lift down to the hotel's basement carpark to meet his friends.

On April 1 and 4, he brought a friend up to his room at around 1.30am and 12.30am respectively.

The friend, identified as a Chen Yijun in court documents, stayed in his room for more than an hour on both days, before leaving at around 5am and 2am respectively, said ICA.

An ICA officer visited Chng on April 5 and reminded him to stay in his room at all times, but Chng ignored this and ventured out of his room again for about 10 minutes the next day, according to ICA.

This time, he met three friends in the hotel's basement carpark at about 12.40am and they went up to the 16th floor of the hotel before he returned to his room.

In court on Wednesday, Chng said he intends to plead guilty.

If convicted of an offence under the Act and its regulations, Chng is liable to a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

Singaporean Rethinasamy Letchimanan, 63, was also hauled to court on Wednesday for repeatedly breaching control orders.

He left his home to meet individuals for "social purposes" on April 12, 16 and 21, said court documents.

He also allegedly did not wear a mask on the two latter dates while out in public.

People are allowed to leave their homes only under specified circumstances during this circuit breaker period, including to buy food and groceries, to exercise or to work in essential services.

Both Rethinasamy and Chng are due back in court on May 20.

Those convicted of contravening a control order under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 can face a financial penalty of up to $10,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

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