SINGAPORE - A man who went ahead with plans to have drinks with a big group of friends during phase two of Singapore's reopening pleaded guilty on Tuesday (Aug 25) over flouting safe distancing measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mohammad Zack Danial Ahamad Zaki, 20, along with 12 others, including two minors, gathered illegally until the wee hours of June 28 at a fitness corner near his block where he had set up two portable tables.
They caused such a ruckus that a neighbour could not sleep and called the police, complaining that members of the group were drinking, smoking and talking at the fitness corner near Block 42 Beo Crescent, off Havelock Road.
Zack Danial and two others of the group, Sai Raghu Vaishnavee Ragu and Aqlima Abdul Azmi, both 19, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to flouting rules under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act by gathering with more than four people not living in the same place of residence as themselves.
The three are expected to be sentenced on Oct 6 after the court called for probation suitability reports for each of them in view of their ages.
The court heard that all three were unable to pay the $3,500 fine that Deputy Public Prosecutor Ang Siok Chen had argued for on Tuesday. The amount is lower than the fine on four other members of the group earlier this month in the light of their ages, said the DPP.
On Aug 5, four others in the group: Nur Saliza Mohamed Sani, 23; Nurul Sheilla Natasya Suhaimi, 25; Nuraznie Ithnin, 31; and Muhammad Zaki Johari, 33, were each fined $4,000.
The three will have a second charge under the same Act and one charge under the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act for drinking between 10.30pm and 7am taken into consideration.
Three other Singaporeans, Mohamad Iman Abdul Rahim, 19; Remy Shah Hail Mee, 20; and Norsyahmi Norhesham, 21, who were allegedly part of the gathering, also face charges under the Act. Their cases are still pending.
The remaining three in the group comprise two boys, aged 14 and 15, and a 26-year-old Malaysian man. The police earlier said that the 14-year-old was given a 12-month conditional warning, while the other two have been investigated for unrelated offences.
As part of phase two of the reopening, which took effect on June 19, groups of up to five people can meet outside of homes, such as at restaurants for meals. They should practise safe distancing and avoid mixing between different groups.
On Tuesday, the court heard that Muhammad Zaki and Zack Danial planned to have alcoholic drinks on June 27 at about 9pm.
Muhammad Zaki then bought two bottles of liquor while three others in the group helped Zack Danial set up the portable tables at the fitness corner.
The court heard that the two minors did not drink alcohol but the rest did.
The police were called just before 1am and the gathering ended soon after an officer arrived.
For each charge under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, a first-time offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.
A repeat offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.