SINGAPORE – Residents at Bukit Batok West Avenue 6resting at home in the evening last Nov 6 were jolted by loud bangs that sounded like gunshots.
They peered out of their windows and saw a fireworks display near Block 194B. Some of them alerted the police and a resident even reported that one of the burning fireworks entered his home. However, no damage to property was caused.
A father-and-son pair were later found to responsible for the unlawful pyrotechnics display.
Cleaner Alagappan Singaram, 54, was fined $5,000 on Friday (March 15) after pleading guilty to discharging the fireworks. He is the first person to be convicted of the offence under the Dangerous Fireworks Act.
His son, A. Hariprasanth, 19, who is waiting to serve his national service, admitted a similar offence later on Friday morning.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lim said the pair went to Johor Baru on Oct 28 last year to buy decorative and festive items for Deepavali on Nov 6.
They also bought a box of fireworks called “25 Shot Cake”.
At around 7.40pm on Nov 6 last year, the pair set up the fireworks near the void deck of Blk 194B Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 and Hariprasanth lit a wick.
DPP Lim said: “Consequently, 25 rocket fireworks shot up to a height of about nine to 10 storeys before exploding in mid-air, and lasted for about two minutes. No injury or damage to property was caused.”
The father-and-son pair were among six Singaporean men charged in court last November over illegal fireworks.
The other four are Elvis Xavier Fernandez, 26, Jeevan Arjoon, 29, Thiagu Selvarajoo, 30, and Siva Kumar Subramaniam, 48.
Thiagu is accused of letting off fireworks shortly before midnight on Nov 5 last year in Gloucester Road near Little India while Siva Kumar allegedly abetted him in committing the offence.
Jeevan allegedly let off fireworks at an open field in front of Block 504B Yishun Street 51 at around 3.30am on Nov 6 last year.
According to court documents, Fernandez is said to have discharged a bundle of six “whistling fire sparkles” at Block 18 Joo Seng Road near Upper Aljunied Link later that day.
The cases involving these four men are still pending.
On Friday, District Judge Eddy Tham called for a report to assess Hariprasanth’s suitability for probation and the teenager will be sentenced on April 16.
The Government started regulating the use of fireworks in 1968 when the practice of lighting celebratory fireworks became a serious public safety issue. A total ban was rolled out on Aug 1, 1972.
Offenders convicted of discharging dangerous fireworks can be fined between $2,000 and $10,000 and jailed for up to two years.
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