Singapore – A 47-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly collecting more than 460 reusable face masks using illegally obtained personal information.

The police said in a statement on Friday (Dec 11) that ten people are being investigated for three separate cases of cheating. These include seven teenagers and a 12-year-old boy, a 33-year-old woman and the 47-year-old mentioned earlier.

The seven teenagers and 12-year-old boy are presumed to have redeemed more than 90 reusable masks from various vending machines. The 33-year-old is under investigation for unauthorised collection of two reusable face masks from a vending machine located at Tanjong Pagar Community Centre.

Lastly, the 47-year-old woman claimed over 460 reusable face masks from a Yio Chu Kang Community Centre vending machine.

Temasek Foundation put up the vending machines containing reusable face masks as part of its nationwide Stay Masked initiative to distribute the masks.

Every Singapore resident is eligible to receive one free pair of antimicrobial face masks. This is the third such initiative organised by Temasek Foundation.

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According to the police, “Preliminary investigations revealed that these cases are believed to be unrelated. Footages from police cameras and CCTV cameras fixed in the vending machines have aided the police in the identification of these suspects.”

The police added in a report that they had received similar reports of unauthorised mask collection in other residential estates. They are escalating efforts to put the perpetrators to task.

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

A cheating offence is liable to a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine. Consequently, retaining illegally obtained personal information can be subject to a jail term of up to three years, a fine of up to S$10,000 or both. /TISG

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ByHana O