S'porean woman fined for lying about yacht party that broke Covid-19 rules

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
July 21, 2022

A woman in Singapore who helped run a yacht booking firm was on Thursday (July 21) fined $2,800 for lying about a party involving 10 people on the vessel Advant.

The party on Dec 26, 2020, was held at a time when Singapore was in the grips of the Covid-19 outbreak, with restrictions that limited gatherings to a maximum of five people.

Singaporean Winnie Peng Yiyun, the 31-year-old director of Marine Bookings, had pleaded guilty to one count of giving false information to a senior marine officer from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Video clips of the party held off Lazarus Island, one of the southern islands, showed the group dancing without masks.

The images were circulated on social media and sparked an outcry.

The authorities later identified the merrymakers - nine Britons and one Chinese national.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim said one of the Britons had contacted Marine Bookings to charter a yacht for 10 people for a party.

The company then booked the Advant, which was owned and operated by a firm called Beyond Luxury.

DPP Lim said the group did not make any arrangements to divide themselves into two groups of five persons while on the yacht.

After the videos were circulated, MPA launched an investigation.

Peng found out that the Briton who made the booking, and another partygoer, had already been interviewed by the authority.

The prosecutor said Peng then got the British national to tell MPA that they had split the bookings, and to lie that they involved two groups of five people who did not know each other.

"At all material times, the accused knew that (the British national) had made a single booking for 10 persons," said DPP Lim.

Peng continued the lies herself when she was interviewed by a senior marine officer with MPA on Jan 6 last year.

But she was found out and the police were alerted on Feb 1.

The merrymakers were each fined $3,000 last year for offences under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

The Britons were also banned from working here.

The Chinese national, who was a Singapore permanent resident at the time, was informed that his re-entry permit would be shortened at his next renewal.

The Straits Times

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