Man allegedly made false declarations to opt out of serving SHN at dedicated facilities

Vijeyakumar Z Joseph declared false information in a physical declaration form at Changi Airport on Nov 22 last year.
Vijeyakumar Z Joseph declared false information in a physical declaration form at Changi Airport on Nov 22 last year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 58-year-old Singaporean has been charged in court on Friday (March 19) with making false declarations in his application to opt out of serving a stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

Vijeyakumar Z Joseph allegedly declared in a physical declaration form at Changi Airport on Nov 22 last year that he had not travelled, in the 14 consecutive days prior to entering Singapore, to any other country or region apart from those listed, ICA said.

But it emerged that he had purportedly returned from Jakarta, Indonesia, which is not part of the list.

Since Nov 2 last year, travellers from selected countries - which do not include Indonesia - may apply to opt out of serving their SHN at dedicated facilities and serve it at a place of residence subject to criteria.

The updated list of countries is available on the ICA website.

"Vijeyakumar also allegedly declared in the form that he would be occupying his place of residence alone or with household members with the same travel history as him and serving their SHN during the same duration," ICA added.

He was then served with an SHN at his place of residence in Ang Mo Kio from Nov 22 to Dec 6.

During checks on Nov 25 last year, enforcement officers found him allegedly residing with his elder brother and father, who did not share his travel history.

Those found guilty of knowingly providing false or misleading information when required to under the Infectious Diseases Act can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for not more than six months.

Vijeyakumar returns to court on April 9.

Since Aug 11 last year, all travellers serving SHN outside of dedicated facilities are required to wear an electronic monitoring device throughout their SHN period.

This enhanced surveillance regime allows the government to adopt a more risk-based approach. Travellers from selected countries and regions could also serve their 14-day SHN at a place of residence, said ICA.

It also warned people "to submit truthful and accurate information for all health, travel and SHN-related declarations" or face "firm enforcement action".

"Strict compliance with SHN requirements is key to safeguarding the health and safety of our population," ICA added.

"All travellers who opt to serve their SHN at their place of residence must remain there at all times. Their movements will be monitored through electronic monitoring and random physical checks."

Those who fail to comply with SHN requirements, including people who tamper with and remove the electronic monitoring device during the SHN period can be prosecuted under the Infectious Disease (Covid-19 - Stay Orders) Regulations.

If convicted of an offence, they can be imprisoned for up to six months and fined not more than $10,000.

Members of the public can report anyone who fails to comply with SHN requirements to ICA at this website or 6812 5555.