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Was a Bangladeshi worker really fined $2000 for plucking leaves off tree at Botanic Gardens?

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The National Parks Board (NParks) confirmed over the weekend that it issued a notice of offence to a Bangladeshi national for plucking leaves off a rare tree at the Singapore Botanic Gardens earlier this month.

The board’s confirmation came after a photo of the alleged notice of offence that was issued to the Bangladeshi went viral online. Another photo of an AXS machine screen appeared to show that the foreigner would be charged a hefty $2,000 fine for the offence:

NParks said in a statement on Sunday that it is reaching out to the Bangladeshi and that it “may consider an appeal” for the case:

“NParks may consider an appeal for this case following the issuance of the notice of offence. We will take mitigating circumstances into consideration when deciding on the composition amount, and will contact the visitor to look further into the case.”
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It is also unclear at this point what fine the visitor will have to pay, since the $2,000 that was displayed at the AXS machine was apparently only a default amount that the board usually charges for such a case.

The real amount the visitor will have to pay will be released via a composition notice that will be issued to him. Until this notice is issued, the visitor will not need to take any action or pay any fine.

NParks further revealed that the Botanic Gardens visitor was caught plucking the leaves of a Syzygium myrtifolium tree (also known as a Kelat Oil or Red Lip tree) – a tree that is native to Singapore but has been classified as nationally extinct, according to NParks’ Flora and Fauna Web.

The board reminded in its statement that it is an offence to cut, collect or displace any plant within a public park, under the Parks and Trees Act. Individuals who commit such offences may be slapped with a maximum fine of S$5,000.

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