Singapore deported as many as 12 foreign nationals for violating circuit-breaker rules. Among them were 10 Indian nationals who were expelled and barred from re-entering the city-state, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) revealed in a joint statement on Monday, Jul 13.

In the case of the Indian nationals, they were caught violating rules on May 5 when Singapore was in the midst of circuit breaker (lockdown) when social gathering was barred. But the Indian citizens, who were living in a rented house at 34A Kim Keat Road, invited seven people without any valid reason.

Those three tenants — Navdeep Singh (20-year-old), Sajandeep Singh (21) and Avinash Kaur (27) — were charged for violating social distancing norms and permitting other individuals to enter their residence under Regulation 4(4) of the COVID-19 Temporary Measure Control Order Regulations 2020.

Indian passport
Representational image of Indian passport Pexels

The seven visitors — Waseem Akram (33), Mohammed Imran Pasha (26), Arpit Kumar (20), Vijay Kumar (20), Karmjit Singh (30), Lukesh Sharma (21) and Jasteena Bhullar (23) — were also charged under the same act. They were fined between $2,000 and $4,500 and were barred from entering Singapore again.

Social Gathering for School Assignment

According to the police statement, the group of Indians were either on a student visa (pass) or work visa (passes) pleaded guilty in June and were deported to India between June and July. Among them, nine were students while one held a work pass.

"These ten individuals, all Indian nationals holding student or work passes pleaded guilty to their offences and have been fined between S$2,000 and S$4,500. Their passes were cancelled after their convictions. They were deported to India between June and July 2020, and barred from re-entering Singapore," SPF said in the statement.

On May 22, a Singapore court charged Avinash for allowing Jasteena to study and prepare for a school assignment. Navdeep and Sajandeep, also students, were handed three counts of charges for allowing Waseem, Arpit, Imran, Vijay, Karmjit and Lukesh to enter the house for social gathering and tea in the morning of May 5. The visitors were charged for meeting the three tenants to collect items.

Imran and Karmjit, during the court proceedings, said they were unaware of the law. Jasteena said she did not have bad intentions and as a student, she was unable to pay such high fine. She added that it was not her intention to "harm the rules of Singapore". "Maybe, I made a mistake, I just regret it," she added.

The penalties for breaking COVID-19 rules were severe in Singapore, which is currently under Phase 2 of its reopening which began on June 19. Such violation could lead to six months of jail and up to S$10,000 in fine.

"The authorities will not hesitate to take strong action against anyone who does not comply with (safe distancing measures) or shows a blatant disregard for our laws, and this may include the termination of visas or work passes, where applicable," the SPF said.

The two among those expelled from the country were a Malaysian national Arvinish N Ramakrishnan (23) and a Chinese citizen Cheng Fengzhao (37). Arvinish who was on work pass while Cheng was on work pass.

Singapore Airlines launches biofuel-powered flights
Singapore Airlines flight (representational image) Reuters

Two Others Deported

Arvinish was charged for drink and driving and violating social distancing norms on April 18. The Malaysian national invited his friend for drinks and when he was en route his friend's home to drop him on a motorcycle, he was caught at the Yishun Avenue 6 roadblock. He was fined S$4,000 and was deported to Malaysia on June 5. He was also barred from re-entering Singapore while his work pass was revoked.

The Chinese national was charged for allowing a man into her house at 30-Jalan Kemaman to offer massage and sexual services. Cheng also admitted that she allowed the same man to enter her residence on April 19 for S$100. She was charged with two counts of violating social distancing norms and fined S$7,000. Cheng, who was on work pass, pleaded guilty and was expelled on June 10. Her work pass was also revoked. The man, a Singapore national, who entered her residence, was issued a notice for violating social distancing norms.