Ex-recruiter charged for allegedly redeeming 207 face masks from vending machines

The man is accused of taking the personal data from his previous job as a manpower recruiter. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - A man arrested for allegedly using illegally-obtained personal data to redeem more than 200 face masks from vending machines in Simei was charged on Saturday (May 30).

Emerson Goh Shou En, 32, is accused of taking the data from his previous job as a manpower recruiter at a recruitment firm, the police said on Friday (May 29).

Its statement added that earlier this week, the authorities had received reports from people who said they were unable to collect their Government-issued face masks from vending machines.

Checks showed the free masks had already been redeemed.

With the help of police cameras, officers from Bedok Police Division identified Goh and arrested him on Thursday (May 28), the statement said.

Investigations showed that between Tuesday and Thursday, Goh had redeemed 207 face masks from the 24-hour vending machines at Changi Simei Community Club.

He was charged in court on Saturday with cheating and the retention of illegally obtained personal information.

He will be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric observation and will be back in court on June 12.

Cheating carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years, and a fine.

Retaining illegally obtained personal information carries an imprisonment term of up to three years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

"The Police take a serious view of this case of fraudulent redemption of face masks," said Superintendent of Police K. Vasanthan, head of investigation at Bedok Police Division.

He also said the police recovered more than 200 face masks.

The Government has embarked on a third mask distribution exercise, which began on May 26 and runs till June 14.

Singaporeans can collect their masks from community clubs (CCs)and residents' committee centres.

Vending machines have been placed at all CCs for those unable to pick up their free masks from the collection centres.

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