Jail, fine for chemical surveyor over illegal fireworks display and for lying to a policeman

Jeevan Arjoon, 29, was jailed for three weeks and fined $5,000 on April 11, 2019. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A chemical surveyor, who unlawfully let off fireworks in Yishun last November, lied to the police and tried to implicate another man during investigations.

Jeevan Arjoon, 29, was jailed for three weeks and fined $5,000 on Thursday (April 11) after pleading guilty to one count each of letting off the fireworks and giving false information to a police officer.

The court heard that last November, he went to a Deepavali bazaar in Little India and was alone when he bought an assortment of fireworks from an unknown peddler.

After that, he drove off to meet his family and friends who were at a playground near Block 513A Yishun Street 51.

At around 3.30am on Nov 6, last year, he took them to a nearby open field and set off the fireworks.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jean Goh said that based on witness accounts, the fireworks were loud enough to be heard from the surrounding Housing Board blocks.

The illegal pyrotechnics display lasted around five minutes but no one was hurt and no property damaged.

One resident alerted the police and Jeevan was interviewed at Ang Mo Kio Police Division the next day.

He later told Inspector Lim Jing Xiang that a 32-year-old man known as Mattavan Michael Douglas was the one who bought the fireworks.

DPP Goh said: "The accused admitted that he had done so in order to push the blame for his offence to Michael and to exact revenge... because he felt that Michael had sabotaged him by telling police that the accused was the one who had set off the fireworks on Nov 6, 2018."

Court documents did not state if Mr Mattavan had indeed informed the police about Jeevan's actions. The documents also did not give details about relations between the two men.

On Thursday, District Judge Marvin Bay stressed that the detonation of fireworks could cause serious injuries and posed a risk of fires.

He added: "Notably, the fireworks were set off close to a cluster of public housing. It is also quite evident that setting off these fireworks would cause considerable alarm to the public... This is particularly so... as we live in a time of heightened concern over possible acts of terrorism."

Jeevan is the third man in recent weeks to plead guilty to unlawfully discharging fireworks.

On March 15, a father-and-son pair admitted that they were responsible for a pyrotechnics display in Bukit Batok on Nov 6 last year.

Cleaner Alagappan Singaram, 54, was fined $5,000 after pleading guilty to discharging the fireworks. He was the first person to be convicted of the offence under the Dangerous Fireworks Act.

His son, A. Hariprasanth, 19, admitted to a similar offence and is expected to be sentenced on April 16.

Jeevan, Alagappan and Hariprasanth were among six Singaporean men charged in court last November over illegal fireworks.

The other three are Elvis Xavier Fernandez, 26, Thiagu Selvarajoo, 30, and Siva Kumar Subramaniam, 48.

Thiagu is accused of letting off fireworks shortly before midnight on Nov 5 last year in Gloucester Road near Little India while Siva Kumar allegedly abetted him in committing the offence.

Fernandez allegedly discharged a bundle of six "whistling fire sparkles" at Block 18 Joo Seng Road near Upper Aljunied Link on Nov 6 last year.

The cases involving him as well as Thiagu and Siva Kumar are pending.

Those convicted of discharging dangerous fireworks can be fined between $2,000 and $10,000 and jailed for up to two years.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.