Man charged with making false SHN declaration after wife, kids and movers found in his home

Ko Kyung Ho is accused of making a false declaration in his application to opt out of serving his SHN at dedicated facilities.
Ko Kyung Ho is accused of making a false declaration in his application to opt out of serving his SHN at dedicated facilities.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - A South Korean man allegedly made a false declaration to the Singapore authorities after arriving at Changi Airport on Nov 25 last year.

Ko Kyung Ho, 45, is said to have declared that he would be serving his stay-home notice (SHN) either alone at home or with household members with the same travel history.

But on Nov 26, when enforcement officers went to his home at the Charleston condominium in Shanghai Road, near River Valley Road, they purportedly found in the unit three of his family members - his wife and two children - who did not share his travel history.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a statement that nine house movers were also found in the apartment that day.

Ko, who is a Singapore permanent resident, was charged on Thursday (April 1) with two offences under the Infectious Diseases Act.

He is accused of making a false declaration in his application to opt out of serving his SHN at dedicated facilities. Ko was to have served his SHN from Nov 25 until Dec 9 last year.

He is said to have exposed others to the potential risk of Covid-19 infection at his home.

Since Aug 11 last year, all travellers serving their SHN outside dedicated facilities have to wear an electronic monitoring device throughout their quarantine period.

The ICA said that with this enhanced surveillance regime, the Government was able to adopt a more "risk-based approach" and allow travellers from selected countries or regions to opt out of serving their 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities.

They could, instead, serve it at a "suitable place of residence".

As one of the criteria, the traveller has to either occupy his or her home alone or with only household members with the same travel history and are serving their SHNs of the same duration.

Ko's bail was set at $10,000 on Thursday and his case has been adjourned to April 22.

For each charge under the 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.

Foreigners may face further administrative actions by ICA and/or the Ministry of Manpower, such as revoking or shortening the validity of permits and passes to remain or work in Singapore.