British man, 39, arrested for not wearing mask, says S'pore should let him go since he wants to leave

He was due to go back to the UK to start his job there but got caught.

Belmont Lay | June 19, 2021, 03:34 AM

A 39-year-old British man, who is an expatriate in Singapore, told The Daily Mail back in his home country that he should be let go and not have to go to court for not wearing a mask in public here.

The man, identified as Benjamin Glynn, 39, who is a father of two, said he should be allowed to go back to the UK since he already wants to leave Singapore.

However, he is waiting for investigations into his case to conclude after he was caught on video not wearing a mask on the MRT train, and even persisted in not putting one on after it was offered to him by a fellow commuter.

Train operator SMRT made a police report after it was alerted to the man's actions.


In its article, Daily Mail referred to Glynn as an "anti-masker", who is someone who goes against public health advice to wear a face mask to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Glynn told Daily Mail: "I had no idea anyone had even been filming, but it turned out a video of me unmasked on the late train home from work surfaced online."

According to the white collar professional, he had been working in Singapore since January 2017 for a British recruitment company that has a branch here.

He was filmed on the MRT train without a mask weeks before he was due to return to the UK for a new job.

Glynn said: "The police obviously saw it and the next day they were at the door."

He also stated his personal belief that masks do not work in this pandemic, which is despite the vast amounts of research that show it works.

The British man said: "I don't believe there is any evidence that masks protect you from Covid-19."

Not the first time he didn't wear a mask in public

According to the Daily Mail interview, Glynn revealed he had gone maskless in Singapore more than once.

He said: "I never normally wear a mask but this is the first time it has been an issue."

"Normally I would just tell people I'm exempt and it had never posed any issues before."

"But now I'm stuck here without my family and I don't even know when I will appear in court, never mind what my sentence will be."

"All for something I don't even believe in."

Glynn also said he did not even see the video of himself as it was removed.

He told Daily Mail: "I had no idea anyone had even been filming until the police were at the door - I've never even seen the video because it was removed before I had chance."

However, the video has been and is still up on Facebook.

Glynn even claimed that the police knocked on his door in the evening and arrested him while his family were asleep.

Jobless in Singapore

Glynn, whose family returned to Leeds from Singapore on May 31, said: "This whole situation is ridiculous."

"I want to leave the country anyway - just let me go!"

"I think it's insane that I am facing a trial at all, just for not wearing a mask."

He is now jobless because he was due to transfer to a position back in the UK.

But that move has now been revoked.

Doesn't believe masks work, can't understand why he has to go to court

"It's a horrible situation to be in when I don't know when I can next see my family," he told Daily Mail.

"Especially when I don't even believe masks stop the spread of the virus in the first place."

Despite his brushes with the law, Glynn said he believes that masks preventing Covid-19 is a hoax.

He added: "I honestly believe it's a hoax -- I don't feel there is any evidence to show mask-wearing is effective in any way."

"From a scientific basis, I think it's nonsense."

"But now all I can do is wait."


Glynn was on his way home when he was filmed without a mask by a MRT train commuter.

He was on the MRT train on the East West Line towards Red Hill.

In his interview with Daily Mail, Glynn said he did not know he was filmed without his mask on as he engaged with fellow commuters who were actively encouraging him to cover up his face.

One fellow commuter even provided a mask to Glynn, but the expat looked at it disapprovingly, as seen in the video of Glynn's interaction on the train.

The video was uploaded to Facebook on May 8.

Glynn said the police showed up at his apartment on May 9 and arrested him.

He told Daily Mail that he spent 28 hours in a cell.

He claimed he was told he faces up to six months in jail if found guilty.

His passport has been confiscated and he cannot return to the UK as planned

His two children are aged five and two.

He also lost a new job he was due to start in the UK.

He said he fears he might have to spend as much as 12 months in Singapore waiting trial.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, is assisting him.

The Singapore police said:

On May 9, 2021, the police arrested a 39-year-old man for allegedly causing public nuisance and flouting safe distancing measures in relation to the case. Police investigations are ongoing. Everyone should take the safe distancing measures seriously. The police will not tolerate such blatant disregard of the law and wilful breaches of safe distancing measures.

A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: "We are assisting a British man who is awaiting trial in Singapore, and have been in contact with the local police about his case."

Top left photo via Glynn supplied to Daily Mail, top right photo via