Vending machines stocked with new and improved reusable face masks were recently unveiled at Community Clubs and Resident's Committees islandwide.
However, one man took advantage of the vending machines to obtain a large quantity of the masks for himself.
He has since been arrested by the Singapore police for his suspected involvement in cheating and using illegally obtained personal information.
Victims were unable to redeem their masks
Police revealed that on May 27 and May 28, several reports were made by people who were unable to collect their government-issued face masks from the vending machines at various collection points.
Subsequent checks against the system's records showed that their masks had already been redeemed.
Through investigations and the aid of police cameras, the identity of the man was established.
Police arrested him on May 28.
Used his job as a manpower recruiter
They discovered that between May 26—the first day the vending machines were operational—and May 28, the man had fraudulently redeemed over 200 masks from the vending machines at 10 Simei St 2.
He was able to do so by illegally obtaining personal information through his previous job as a manpower recruiter for a recruitment company.
The man will be charged in court on May 30 with cheating and retention of illegally obtained personal information.
For cheating, he could be imprisoned for up to 10 years, and be liable to a fine.
For retaining illegally obtained personal information, he could be imprisoned up to three years, or fined up to S$10,000 or both.
Top photo from Zhangxin Zheng and SPF