Five hauled to court for allegedly using other people's IC numbers to redeem masks

Vending machines where people could use their IC numbers to redeem face masks.
Vending machines where people could use their IC numbers to redeem face masks. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - A former bookstore manager, a property agent, a clinic employee, an investment company employee and someone whose occupation is unknown - this may seem like a random list of people, but they had one thing in common: access to multiple identity card numbers.

Five people were hauled to court on Monday morning (Aug 16) for allegedly using the IC numbers of others to redeem face masks from machines put up by Temasek Foundation.

The five, who were not working in concert, are Dominique Maitreyani Qin, 59; David Chin Sing Chuin, 58; Ang Poh Lay, 47; Pantila Pakamethanan, 43; and Ng Wee Siang, 34.

Qin, a former manager of a Popular bookstore, faces one charge each of cheating and fraudulent possession.

He is alleged to have used the IC numbers of 13 people to redeem face masks from a vending machine in Toa Payoh last December.

During the course of investigations, the police found that he had another 244 mask packs, alleged to have been fraudulently obtained.

A spokesman for Popular told The Straits Times that Qin’s employment with the company ended in 2019.

Chin, who was a property agent with PropNex, allegedly used the IC numbers of 11 clients to redeem face masks from the machines in March. He faces two cheating charges.

A PropNex spokesman said Chin had been terminated as at Monday. “The case was brought to PropNex’s attention earlier and the company has since terminated the salesperson as we do not tolerate such behaviour,” said the spokesman.

Ang, who works at Tan & Yik Clinic and Surgery in Bishan, faces one charge each of cheating and illegally obtaining personal information.

She is alleged to have illegally retained the identification numbers of eight people from the clinic's patient records and used them to redeem masks at a machine in Hougang in March.

Pakamethanan, a Thai national who was working at an investment company, faces two charges each of cheating and illegally obtaining personal information.

She is alleged to have illegally retained the personal information of five of her clients at Chartered Investment Managers in October last year and March this year.

The identification numbers of these people were then allegedly used to redeem 10 packs of face masks from the machines.

Ng, whose occupation is not known, allegedly redeemed 14 mask packs using the IC numbers of 14 people. He faces one charge of cheating.

In a release on Sunday, the police said they will spare no effort in apprehending those who cheat to redeem masks.

"The police take a serious view of people who dishonestly deprive others of redeeming their face masks during such distributions, through fraudulent methods of obtaining their personal information and misusing this for personal gain," they said.

Those convicted of cheating may be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.