2 men charged over fraudulent applications for Covid-19 grants from the govt

SINGAPORE - Two men aged 23 and 24 who submitted fraudulent applications for government assistance were charged in court on Monday (Dec 6) with cheating.

They allegedly submitted to the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) applications containing falsehoods in July last year to claim support under the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (Sirs).

As a result, NTUC was duped into disbursing $3,000 and $6,000 to each of them.

Sirs was launched in March 2020 by the Ministry of Manpower to tide self-employed Singaporeans over the economic uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

NTUC helps the ministry administer Sirs applications and appeals, as well as identify potential fraudulent cases for further investigations while processing the applications.

Applications for the scheme have been closed since the end of last year.

The police said they take a serious view of dishonest or fraudulent applications for government grants and that offenders will be dealt with severely in accordance with the law.

Those found guilty of cheating can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

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