Man jailed 5 days for letting another use his Covid-19 vaccination status to enter bar

Kiran Singh Rughbir Singh allowed Utheyakumar Nallathamby to use his vaccination status to gain entry into a bar on Sept 9, 2021. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A Malaysian man who let an unvaccinated retiree use his TraceTogether app to pretend he was vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter a bar was sentenced to five days' jail on Friday (Feb 25).

Kiran Singh Rughbir Singh, 37, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of cheating by personation.

The court heard that Singh had gone for drinks at Bikini Bar in Sentosa with his then girlfriend and Utheyakumar Nallathamby, 65, on Sept 9, 2021.

Utheyakumar was denied entry because he was not vaccinated against Covid-19.

At the time, only vaccinated people were allowed to dine in.

Singh suggested that his girlfriend and Utheyakumar go to the nearby Coastes Bar and use his phone to display the vaccination status on the TraceTogether app and so gain entry, while he waited outside.

Utheyakumar was allowed into the bar after doing so.

A bar employee there asked Utheyakumar and Singh's girlfriend to confirm that the information displayed on the phone screens showed their vaccination status. They both said yes.

"In doing so, the accused and Kumar intended to circumvent the safe management measures to enable Kumar to enter and dine on the premises of Coastes Bar despite Kumar's unvaccinated status," Deputy Public Prosecutor Shen Wanqin told the court.

While the pair were having drinks, the Bikini Bar worker who had earlier refused Utheyakumar entry recognised him and recalled that he was unvaccinated against Covid-19.

She told the staff at Coastes Bar, who then checked the phone Utheyakumar was carrying and realised that he was using Singh's phone, TraceTogether app and vaccination status.

The police were alerted.

Seeking three weeks' jail, DPP Shen said Singh had committed the offence for his own selfish interests: "He was the progenitor of the idea to cheat by impersonation. He obstinately wanted Utheyakymar to enter and dine on the bar premises, even after the latter was rejected once at Bikini Bar."

The case against Utheyakumar is still pending.

For cheating by personation, an offender can be jailed for up to five years, fined, or both.

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