Man jailed after paying $500 fine to MOH with forged screenshot of PayNow transaction

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
June 14, 2023

A man who was caught breaching a Covid-19 quarantine order decided to dupe the Ministry of Health (MOH) into thinking he had paid a $500 composition amount.

Lowell Calvin Chim Yew Jun took a screenshot of an unrelated PayNow transaction for $500 and used an application in his mobile phone to edit it.

He sent the doctored screenshot to MOH. The truth emerged when it did not receive the $500 from Chim’s bank account and the police were alerted.

On Wednesday, Chim, 29, was sentenced to seven months’ jail after he pleaded guilty to one count of forgery and two drug-related charges.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheldon Lim said a quarantine order was issued to Chim on July 30, 2021, for him to be isolated in a room at the Amara Singapore hotel in Tanjong Pagar until Aug 13 that year.

Even though he was not supposed to leave his room, he did so at around 4pm on Aug 5, 2021, as he wanted to borrow a phone charger.

He went to a room occupied by a stranger, who was also under a quarantine order, and the man allowed him inside.

At around 9.40pm, a senior guest service manager of the hotel realised that Chim had left his room and found out that he was in another one nearby.

The manager accompanied Chim back to his room and told MOH. On Oct 11, 2021, it issued a notice of composition to Chim, stating that he could pay $500 to compound the offence.

He sent the edited screenshot via e-mail on Feb 9, 2022, and a senior manager at MOH lodged a police report five months later.

Separately, Chim, who has a history of drug abuse, was placed under compulsory supervision from Dec 10, 2021 to Dec 9, 2026.

He was supposed to go to Ang Mo Kio Police Division Headquarters for urine tests every Monday, except on public holidays.

He repeatedly failed to do so and the police arrested him in November 2022.

Chim is now out on bail of $20,000 and expected to surrender at the State Courts on June 30 to begin serving his sentence.

The Straits Times

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