3 people arrested over white substances found at 2 religious centres

The white substances were found at the Catholic Centre in Waterloo Street and at the Bible House in Armenian Street. PHOTOS: RYAN CHIONG, SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAPS

SINGAPORE - The police have arrested three people allegedly linked to a case where white substances were found at the Catholic Centre in Waterloo Street and the Bible House in Armenian Street.

Two men, aged 52 and 66, and a 63-year-old woman were arrested after extensive ground inquiries and with the help of images from devices such as police cameras.

On Monday, the police said in a statement: “Substances believed to be ash from burnt newspapers, table salt and vegetable oil, purportedly used during the incidents, have been seized from the 52-year-old man.”

The police also said that an investigation into an offence of public nuisance is ongoing.

The trio were part of a group of 11 people – two men and nine women – aged between 49 and 67, who had been identified and were assisting in police investigations.

Last Tuesday, the police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) were called to investigate after a white substance was found at the Bible House.

A day later, occupants at the Catholic Centre were evacuated from the nine-storey building after an unidentified substance was found sprayed around its perimeter.

The substances at both locations were later found to be harmless.

In a statement last week, the police said that at about 9.45am last Wednesday, officers were alerted to a case of white substance found at a location in Waterloo Street. Preliminary investigations suggested it was linked to the incident in Armenian Street, added the police.

A staff member at the Catholic Centre, who declined to be named, said he saw the substance in the foyer when he arrived for work at about 9am last Wednesday. Suspecting it was an oil spill from a vehicle, he did not think much of it and proceeded to his office as usual.

At about 10.30am, all of the building’s occupants were evacuated after SCDF officers arrived, he said.

After checks by SCDF and police officers, the occupants were allowed to re-enter the centre at about 12.20pm.

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