News on school closures: Couple arrested under Official Secrets Act
A couple has been arrested for allegedly disseminating a draft of the official media statement on the closure of schools as part of the “circuit breaker” measures to contain Covid-19 in Singapore.
The draft was reported to be in circulation in various social media applications before the official announcement on Friday (April 3).
Those arrested by the police for the alleged offence of wrongful communication under the Official Secrets Act were a 37-year-old woman and her 38-year-old husband, according to a report by straitstimes.com on Sunday (April 5).
The police had received word at about 5.45 pm on Friday that a draft of the official announcement concerning the temporary closures of schools was in circulation.
Initial investigations showed that the woman, who had authorisation to receive the statement as she is a public servant, sent her husband a screengrab of the announcement via Whattsapp at around 9 am that day.
Her husband, who is not authorised to receive the announcement, then disseminated the screengrab among his acquaintances. The draft made its rounds even before the statement was officially made at 4.30 pm on Friday.
As the police continue investigations, the authorities have reiterated the Government’s stance on the wrongful circulation of confidential information, saying that violators will be dealt with firmly. Those guilty of wrongfully communicating information face up to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to S$2,000.
The police also cautioned those who receive such information to refrain from disseminating it because they may also be accountable under the Official Secrets Act. /TISG
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