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Woman faces fine, jail for flouting CB rules to meet boyfriend

The Independent logo The Independent 23/5/2020 Anna Maria Romero
a group of people in a dark sky © The Independent Singapore

Singapore — So what’s harder, not seeing your significant other due to restricted movements during a pandemic, or paying a fine for breaking these rules?

One woman is most likely spending some time figuring this out.

Renukha Arumugam, 30, has been charged with flouting circuit breaker rules after she reportedly slipped away from home to meet her boyfriend, not once, but twice.

On Friday (May 22), she was charged with five counts under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, which became law earlier in the year. 

She now faces two counts of meeting individuals not from her household for a social purpose, two of leaving her house without reasonable excuse and one count of not wearing a mask properly when outdoors.

How the authorities found out that she had flouted circuit breaker restrictions has not been disclosed.

But what is known from documents pertaining to her case, CNA reports, is that she slipped away from her house three times. She left home once to meet a friend and twice to meet her boyfriend.

On April 12, she left her apartment in Jurong West and met her boyfriend in front of Block 713, Clementi West Street 2. This occurred at around 3 am. And around 12.30 am on April 17, she left home again and went to her boyfriend’s place at Clementi West Street 2.

On the same day at 1.30 pm, she was seen without a mask at Block 724, Clementi West Street 2.

And on April 29, she is accused of having gone to Block 433, Jurong West Street 41, to meet an unnamed friend. This occurred shortly before 11 am. She and her friend were supposed to go get groceries together.

Renukha apologised to the court and added that she had not meant to break the law.

“I am really sorry for everything, and I didn’t wish to breach during this period.” She added: “I’m unemployed, so if you are going to give me a heavy fine, I don’t think I can pay.”

Her next court date is June 10, when she will be pleading guilty to the charges against her. She may be jailed for six months at most, or be made to pay a fine of as much as S$10,000 or a combination of both.

Singapore is not the only place where restriction orders are flouted in the name of love.

Last month, a young Malaysian couple attempted to flout the country’s Movement Control Order (MCO) with a clandestine meeting at night.

The young man, age 25, and his girlfriend, who is 19, were noticed by patrol officers. When the police told them to pull over, the driver decided to speed up.

The police gave chase but the pair drove a full 15 km before they had to stop because the car ran out of fuel. They were arrested by the police. /TISG

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