Asia

Two women investigated for illegally collecting free face masks; more cases being probed

SINGAPORE – Two women suspected of cheating and using illegally obtained personal information to collect face masks from vending machines set up by the Temasek Foundation are under investigation.

The women, aged 43 and 56, were involved in separate cases, the police noted on Friday (March 12).

Police received a report on March 3 that a woman was unable to collect her face mask from a vending machine in Chai Chee Avenue. Temasek Foundation’s records showed that the mask had already been collected.

Images from police cameras and CCTV cameras fixed within the vending machines led officers from the Bedok Police Division to arrest a 56-year-old woman on Thursday.

“The woman had also purportedly used illegally obtained personal information to collect more than 20 face masks from various vending machines located in Pasir Ris,” police said.

The other case involved a 43-year-old woman.

Police had received a report on March 5 from a person who was unable to collect her face mask from a vending machine in Orchard Road.

Officers from the Tanglin Police Division identified the suspect on Monday. The woman had allegedly also used illegally obtained personal information to collect five reusable masks from a vending machine in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

The women could face jail terms of up to 10 years and be fined if convicted for cheating.

Retaining illegally obtained personal information can bring jail of up to three years and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.

The police said: “The police have also received similar reports in other residential estates and are intensifying our efforts … to apprehend perpetrators.

“If you spot any suspicious person(s) loitering near any reusable masks vending machine, please contact the Police at 999 immediately.”

Members of the public who face difficulties collecting their reusable face masks from the vending machines can call Temasek Foundation’s hotline at 1800-738-2000 from 9am to 9pm daily from until Sunday. They can also e-mail the organisation at [email protected]

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