SINGAPORE: A man suspected of organising an illegal car race with 57 attendees was charged on Thursday (Apr 9) under newly enacted laws to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Yeo Jing Cheng, 30, is accused of organising an event with more than 10 participants during a period when no such gatherings are allowed as part of efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
He is accused of organising an event called “street cars meet up” at about 11pm at East Coast Park on Mar 28, allowing more than 10 people to be present.
He was given a second charge under the Infectious Diseases (Measures to Prevent Spread of COVID-19) Regulations 2020 of taking part in another race at 12.30am on Mar 29, at Tuas South Boulevard.
He is the first to be charged with these offences under the regulations, which were enacted on Mar 26.
READ: Jail terms, fines for those who breach COVID-19 safe-distancing rules, stay-home notice
READ: Social gatherings of any size in both private and public spaces prohibited under new Bill
The illegal race at Tuas South Avenue 4 was held in the early hours of Mar 29, three days after the new laws were enacted, police said in an earlier statement.
More than 50 vehicles were involved, and 57 motorists who were present are also being investigated for their participation.
On top of this, police are investigating their non-compliance with safe distancing measures.
The traffic police said in a statement last week that it takes a stern view of anyone who organises or participates in illegal racing. Vehicles seized in connection with offences under the Road Traffic Act can be forfeited.
Yeo said he wanted to engage a lawyer. The judge adjourned the hearing to May 8, instructing him to decide if he wants to plead guilty or claim trial by then in the event that he has no lawyer.
If convicted, Yeo faces up to six months’ jail and a maximum fine of S$10,000 per charge.
READ: Singapore reports record spike of 142 new COVID-19 cases; 20 linked to largest cluster at S11 dormitory
He is the latest in a string of accused persons to be handed charges relating to COVID-19.
On Tuesday, two men were charged with breaching stay-home notices – one in order to deliver newspapers and another to visit shops and eat bak kut teh.
Singapore on Wednesday saw a record spike of 142 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national total to 1,623.
Of this, 669 are in hospital, with 29 people in critical condition.