Sex worker who allowed man into home among 5 people sentenced over Covid-19 related offences

(Clockwise from top left) Cheng Fengzhao, Arvinish N. Ramakrishnan, Chng Tianxi, George Heng Seng Huat and Zahari Samat were sentenced in court over offences linked to the coronavirus outbreak.
(Clockwise from top left) Cheng Fengzhao, Arvinish N. Ramakrishnan, Chng Tianxi, George Heng Seng Huat and Zahari Samat were sentenced in court over offences linked to the coronavirus outbreak.ST PHOTOS: KELVIN CHNG, WONG KWAI CHOW, LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - A sex worker breached safe distancing measures and allowed a regular customer to enter her home during the circuit breaker period.

Chinese national Cheng Fengzhao, 38, is a work permit holder and was supposed to be employed as a waitress at an eatery whose name was not revealed in court documents, but she failed to turn up for work.

She was fined $7,000 after pleading guilty to an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act on Wednesday (June 3).

Instead of working as a waitress, Cheng paid a monthly fee to some unknown individuals to help her advertise sexual services on different websites.

She also lived at a condominium apartment in Jalan Kemaman near Balestier Road and paid rent to an unknown man every 10 days. She was charged $100 a day, the court heard.

When the police conducted a raid there at around 3pm on May 5, officers spotted Cheng's regular customer, a 51-year-old man, entering her unit.

The man, whose name was not revealed in court documents, was stepping out about an hour later when the police identified themselves.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Ti-Ting said that officers searched the unit and found another sex worker there.

The DPP also told Senior District Judge Bala Reddy that prior to the customer's visit, Cheng had arranged for the man to visit her that day, charging him $100 for her services.

Cheng, who was unrepresented, pleaded for a light sentence and told the court that she did not have any qualifications to earn a living.

When asked why she did not work as a waitress here, she replied that no such job was available when she arrived in Singapore. It was not stated if the customer would be taken to court.

 

Cheng was one of five people sentenced in court on Wednesday over offences linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

The other four, who were involved in unrelated incidents, are: Arvinish N. Ramakrishnan, 23; Chng Tianxi, 37; George Heng Seng Huat, 54, and Zahari Samat, 60.

Arvinish is a Malaysian and the three other men are Singaporeans.

REPEATEDLY BREACHED STAY-HOME NOTICE

Chng, a sales executive, was sentenced to four weeks' jail after pleading guilty to an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act and one under the Infectious Diseases (Measures to Prevent Spread of Covid-19) Regulations.

 
 
 

He had been handed a stay-home notice (SHN) after arriving at Changi Airport from Thailand on March 26. He was supposed to stay in a room at the Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard, Singapore in Somerset Road from then until April 9.

But on April 1, he left his room on the fourth storey around 1.30am and met a friend, Ms Chen Yijun, a Chinese national, at the basement of the building. They went to his room and Ms Chen left about 3½ hours later.

The court heard that he committed the offences because he was "bored".

The pair met again on April 4. When one of the property's receptionists told Chng that he was not allowed to leave his room and receive visitors, he replied that he needed more time to finish dinner with Ms Chen. She left after spending about 1½ hours in his room and Pan Pacific Serviced Suites alerted the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority about the breach.

Officers met up with Chng the next day and one of them told him that he was not supposed to leave his room.

Despite this, Chng left it again at around 12.40am on April 6 to meet three male friends at the basement, and all of them went up to the 16th storey.

He returned to his room alone about 10 minutes later. It was not stated if Ms Chen and the three men would be taken to court.

LEFT FLAT TO BUY COUGH SYRUP

Heng had been given a home quarantine order after he was suspected of being a contact of a Covid-19 case. The order stated that the freelance safety officer had to remain at his Marine Drive flat from Feb 10 to 24.

On Feb 24, an auxiliary police officer arrived there at around 3.20pm to serve him a revised order, which extended the quarantine period to Feb 25.

But Heng was not there, as he had stepped out at around 3.15pm to buy a bottle of cough syrup for his mother from a nearby Chinese medical hall.

He returned about 20 minutes later and met the officer, who gave him the revised quarantine order.

He was fined $4,500 on Wednesday after pleading guilty to an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act.

RODE MOTORBIKE AFTER DRINKING SESSION WITH FRIEND

Arvinish was fined $4,000 after pleading guilty to one count each of an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act and riding a motorcycle shortly after consuming alcohol. He was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for two years.

He had unlawfully met one of his Malaysian friends, Mr Siddhartha Gauthma Robat, 27, on April 19.

Mr Siddhartha had gone to Arvinish's Yishun flat at around midnight that day for a drinking session. The court heard that Arvinish downed about five glasses of liquor.

He offered to give Mr Siddhartha a lift home later that morning.

Mr Siddhartha was riding pillion on Arvinish's motorcycle when a traffic police officer stopped them for a spot check along Yishun Avenue 6.

Arvinish was later found to have 43 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The prescribed limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Court documents did not state if action would be taken against Mr Siddhartha.

LEFT HOME TO BUY FOOD AND CIGARETTES

Zahari was fined $4,500 after pleading guilty to an offence under the Infectious Diseases (Covid-19 - Stay Orders) Regulations.

 
 
 

He had returned to Singapore from Batam on April 1 and was then given an SHN stating that he had to remain at home until April 15.

Despite this, he left his North Bridge Road flat on April 8 and was arrested at an open-air carpark at around 4pm that day.

Zahari told investigators that after leaving his home, he walked about 450m to a nearby coffee shop to buy some food. After that, he went to a shop and bought a packet of cigarettes.