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Police intensifying efforts to nab cheats after latest case of unauthorised mask redemption

SINGAPORE — The police are stepping up efforts to deter people from misusing others’ personal information to collect free face masks from vending machines put up by Temasek Foundation following another arrest, this time involving a 38-year-old man.

Police intensifying efforts to nab cheats after latest case of unauthorised mask redemption
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SINGAPORE — The police are stepping up efforts to deter people from misusing others’ personal information to collect free face masks from vending machines put up by Temasek Foundation following another arrest, this time involving a 38-year-old man.

The suspect, who was arrested on Sunday (March 14), allegedly made 61 attempts to redeem the masks and succeeded 11 times, collecting the masks from various vending machines located at Bukit Panjang Plaza and along Bishan Street 22.

In laying out this latest case in a news release on Sunday, the police said they had also received similar reports in other residential estates and are intensifying their efforts to “apprehend perpetrators and bring them to justice”.

The 38-year-old was arrested after one of the victims who could not collect his face mask from a vending machine at Pasir Ris East Community Centre lodged a report with the police at about 11.40am on Saturday.

That same day, Temasek Foundation also lodged a police report stating that it had received complaints from several others who could not collect their masks at the Bukit Panjang and Bishan vending machines.

It took less than a day before officers from Bedok Police Division and Central Police Division arrested the culprit, after establishing his identity using images from police cameras and closed-circuit television cameras fixed in the vending machines.

The offence of cheating carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years, and includes a fine.

If convicted of retaining illegally obtained personal information, the man could be jailed for up to another three years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

On Friday, the police said that they were investigating two women who had purportedly collected masks using illegally obtained personal information.

There was a raft of similar cases last year.

On Dec 16, the police said they had arrested three people who allegedly took more than 160 masks in total from the machines. This came less than a week after the police revealed that 10 people were under investigation for similar offences, including a 47-year-old woman who allegedly redeemed more than 460 masks.

Last May, a 32-year-old man was charged after redeeming more than 200 Government-issued face masks from vending machines in Simei.

Emerson Goh Shou En had done so by using personal information illegally obtained from his previous job as a manpower recruiter for a recruitment company.

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police cheating Temasek Foundation face mask

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