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NSF fined S$2,500 for flying drone near National Day Parade venue

SINGAPORE — A full-time national serviceman who flew a drone near the Singapore Flyer during last year’s National Day Parade (NDP) was fined S$2,500 on Tuesday (Feb 18).

Tan Jin Kang, 21, is the first individual to be prosecuted under Section 26(3) of the Public Order Act, which essentially sets out rules pertaining to “special event areas”.

Tan Jin Kang, 21, is the first individual to be prosecuted under Section 26(3) of the Public Order Act, which essentially sets out rules pertaining to “special event areas”.

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SINGAPORE — A full-time national serviceman who flew a drone near the Singapore Flyer during last year’s National Day Parade (NDP) was fined S$2,500 on Tuesday (Feb 18).

Tan Jin Kang is the first individual to be prosecuted under Section 26(3) of the Public Order Act, which essentially sets out rules pertaining to “special event areas”. 

The 21-year-old told the court last month that he did not see signs stating that drone-flying around the NDP venue — the Padang — was illegal, as they were in red and the crowds were also in red.

He further claimed that he was unaware that various places around the Padang had been designated as a special event area.

Such places included Gardens by the Bay, Circular Road, North Bridge Road, Victoria Street, and parts of Nicoll Highway and East Coast Parkway.

On Tuesday, he apologised for what he had done and said he was “ready to face the consequences no matter what”.

“I am hoping that you will be lenient in my case, and I hope I get a second chance… on my part, I will ensure I will not make this mistake again,” he added.

District Judge Christopher Goh said that the sentence passed should “make a statement” that people ought to think twice about committing such offences, as “there may be untoward consequences”.

The court previously heard that Tan flew the drone along Raffles Avenue on Aug 9 last year. As part of enhanced security measures for the parade, members of the public were not allowed to fly any unmanned aerial vehicle without a valid permit between 12am and 11.59pm that day.

Tan, a security trooper with the Singapore Armed Forces, was caught by a police sergeant who was patrolling at around 8pm that day.

When the policeman spotted the grey-coloured DJI Mavic 2 Zoom drone operated by Tan, it was about 4m to 5m in the air at the main jetty area of the Singapore Flyer.

He then followed the drone as it made its descent towards Raffles Avenue, where Tan was standing.

Police investigations found that Tan was running a test flight so that he could take photos of the fireworks later that evening. He did not have a valid permit to do so.

Tan also flew the drone for up to a distance of about 10.8m over a period of about 45 seconds in the special event area.

There were two signboards near Tan warning potential drone operators not to fly their devices, the prosecution pointed out.

Tan could have been jailed up to 12 months, or fined up to S$20,000, or both.

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court crime drone National Day Parade Singapore Flyer

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