Singapore: Indian youth in jail for not staying home

Indian-origin youth in Singapore sentenced to 6-week imprisonment for breaching stay-home notice

On March 21, Sandhu's supervisor found out that a stay-home notice had been issued to him, and ordered him to go home immediately. (Credit: Pixabay image)

A Singapore court on Wednesday sentenced an Indian-origin youth to six weeks of imprisonment for breaching a stay-home notice.

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Quresh Singh Sandhu, a security guard by profession, returned to Singapore from Batam in Indonesia on March 17 and was served a stay-home notice, which required him to remain in his residence between March 17 and March 31.

However, he kept reporting for duty and shared a room with others, exposing them to the risk of infection by breaching his stay-home notice, Channel News Asia reported.

Sandhu had signed a slip acknowledging that he understood the notice, which said he could not leave his residence at all times during the period.

However, after clearing immigration, he went straight to Marina Bay Sands, a casino-hotel resort here, to start his shift as a security guard.

He took the train, switching lines to get there, and began a 12-hour shift at 8 pm that same day.

The next morning on ending his shift, Sandhu took a train to reach his accommodation, where he shared a room with three other colleagues at his company's quarters at Snooze Inn on Dunlop Street in the Little India precinct.

He did not tell his colleagues about his stay-home notice and instead continued heading to work the next three days and returning to the shared lodging after completing his shifts.

On March 21, Sandhu's supervisor found out that a stay-home notice had been issued to him, and ordered him to go home immediately.

Meanwhile, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority checked on him at his declared place of accommodation and did not find him there.

Sandhu has plead guilty to the charge.

Sandhu, who was unrepresented, said: "I made a grave mistake which I can't undo at this point in time. I deeply regret my actions. I never wanted to intentionally put public lives in danger."

For exposing others to the risk of infection, he could have been jailed for up to six months, fined up to SGD 10,000, or both.

Singapore has so far reported 32,876 coronavirus cases, a majority of them foreign workers living in dormitories. 

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