Facing 'personal difficulties', man hosted gathering of 11 during circuit breaker

(Clockwise from top left) Alex Teo Han Yuan, Teo Wee Liang, Zane Lucas Quek, Joey Seng Koon Hwee and Nicholas Tan Zhi Qin.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - An illegal get-together at Eastbay condominium during the circuit breaker has cost 11 men a total of $25,200 in fines.

The men pleaded guilty on Wednesday (Sept 16) to an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Members of the public were banned from leaving home without a valid reason or meeting other people not living in the same place for social reasons during the circuit breaker period from April 7 to June 1.

Alex Teo Han Yuan, 27, was given the steepest fine of $3,000 for holding the event in May at his Eastbay unit in Tay Lian Teck Road, near Upper East Coast Road.

Teo Wee Liang, 27, was fined $2,700, while three others - Zane Lucas Quek, 27; Joey Seng Koon Hwee, 32; and Nicholas Tan Zhi Qin, 34 - were each fined $2,500.

A fine of $2,000 each was levied on the other six men: Darren Ho Shu Qiang, 23; Neo Hwee Siang, 24; Ryan Tan Jia Wei, 25; Jeffrey Foo Chek Suan, 28; Lim Cheng Yao, 29; and Winston Lee Wei Zheng, 35.

The case involving a 12th man - Nicholas Lau Wei Chong, 25 - is still pending, with a pre-trial conference to be held on Oct 15.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Yee Jia Rong and Kor Zhen Hong said that Alex Teo invited six friends to his home on May 16 as he was facing personal difficulties at the time.

Five were among the 11 convicted on Wednesday; another guest, Sim Jia Yang, will be dealt with later.

Darren Ho Shu Qiang and Lim Cheng Yao were among the six fined $2,000 each. PHOTO: The Straits Time

These friends then invited more people to the gathering, with all arriving from around 11pm.

The court heard that the condominium had neither a guardhouse nor a security officer on duty that evening.

Shortly after midnight on May 17, the condo's property manager alerted the police after a resident complained about the unlawful gathering.

A policewoman arrived at the unit at around 12.30am. Alex Teo identified himself as the unit's main tenant and admitted that he had allowed guests into his home.

A first-time offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000 for each charge under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

A repeat offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.