Woman involved in unlawful 12-person gathering on Lazarus Island fined $3,000

Luong Thi Thu Ha, along with 11 others, engaged in leisure activities on Lazarus Island on Aug 8, flouting Covid-19 regulations. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Another member of a 12-person group that had gathered unlawfully on Lazarus Island on Aug 8 amid the Covid-19 outbreak has been fined $3,000.

Luong Thi Thu Ha, 31, pleaded guilty on Friday (Dec 11) to one count of violating Covid-19 regulations that prohibit social gatherings of more than five people who do not stay in the same place of residence.

Court documents state that the Vietnamese woman, a permanent resident here, along with 11 others, took a ferry from mainland Singapore to St John's Island at 11am on Aug 8.

Upon arrival, the group walked to the beach along Lazarus Island, which is connected by a man-made causeway from St John's Island.

They then engaged in various leisure activities, before returning to the mainland via a ferry from St John's Island at around 6pm.

A member of the group, Natalie Joanna Sarkies, 29, later posted photographs of the trip on social media platform Instagram.

The photographs were subsequently reported on various media platforms, attracting public attention and causing public alarm, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh.

Each member of the group was later charged on Oct 2 for an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Seven other members of the group were dealt with earlier and have also been fined $3,000 each.

They are Sarkies; Zoe Louise Cronk, 30; Jeff Richard Alexander, 32; Lowri Mair Jeffs, 31; Richard Henri Lagesse, 31; William Edwin Dunford, 32; and Paul Jonathon Gold, also 32.

Sarkies is Singaporean, while the rest are British.

The cases for the remaining members - Helen Ann Sullivan, 30; Joshua Adam Roth, 31; James Riby Oram Trimming, 31, and Edward John Joseph Lee-Bull, 32 - are still pending.

In a statement on Friday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said that PRs who have been convicted of offences will have their permanent residence status reviewed.

It added that the validity of Luong's re-entry permit will be shortened on the next renewal.

If found guilty of an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, first-time offenders can be jailed for up to six months or fined up to $10,000, or both.

Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to $20,000, or both.

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