Possible jail time if you fake a Covid-19 ART result

Those who submit fake antigen rapid test results can be convicted of cheating or forgery.
ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - While the eight-week rostered routine testing exercise announced on Sept 6 is not compulsory, companies and workers can still be in trouble if they submit fake antigen rapid test (ART) results.

This is because they can be convicted of cheating or forgery, lawyer Cory Wong told The Straits Times.

Mr Wong had represented Chinese national Zhang Shaopeng, 30, who was sentenced to three weeks' jail on Wednesday after having forged a Covid-19 vaccination certificate to try to dine at Tanuki Raw bar and restaurant at Orchard Central.

Zhang had asked a colleague to send a photo of a doctor's memo that certified the colleague had been vaccinated against Covid-19. Using a mobile phone app, Zhang edited the photo, replacing his colleague's name with his own but was caught by alert staff who lodged a police report.

There is a risk some errant individuals or companies might try the same tactic, said Mr Wong.

But Mr Wong, who is an associate director at Invictus Law Corporation, cautioned: "If you take a photograph (of an ART kit) that belongs to your friend and you are misrepresenting it as yours, that would fall under the offence of cheating."

Doctoring a photograph to show a negative Covid-19 result when it is positive could potentially constitute forgery, he added.

Those convicted of cheating can be fined or jailed for up to three years per charge, or both.

And those convicted of forgery can be jailed for up to four years or fined, or both.

Ms Jaya Dass, managing director of recruitment agency Randstad Singapore, said that one way employers can ensure compliance is asking staff to film themselves doing the test during submission.

But that would create more administrative work and incur man-hours for the human resources team to review, she said.

Another solution is an online platform developed by IT start-up Accredify that requires employees to take a photo of their results using the Web app's built-in camera.

This will ensure the timestamp is captured and prevent them from using the same photo repeatedly.

At Accredify, a start-up which issues digital certificates, are (from left) Ms Jessica Tan, Mr Derrick Lee, and Ms Aurelia Lim. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Accredify chief technology officer Derrick Lee said 15 companies in sectors such as manufacturing and financial services have expressed interest since its platform was launched last week.

Ultimately, the onus lies on the person taking the ART to be honest and truthful.

Ms Dass said: "Employees must understand they have the responsibility to be truthful in their reporting as it does not only impact them but also their colleagues and their family members who have been exposed to them."

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