10 charged for breaching COVID-19 measures on yacht off Lazarus Island

Wan Ting Koh
·2-min read
A photo of the group on a yacht. (PHOTO: Facebook/Bu Hui Yan)
A photo of the group on a yacht. (PHOTO: Facebook/Bu Hui Yan)

SINGAPORE — Ten individuals who were allegedly found aboard a yacht off Lazarus Island on 26 December last year were charged in court on Friday (5 February) for breaching COVID-19 measures.

The 10 are: Mark Alexander Bellamy, 29; Annabelle Morgan Duke, 26; Holmes Philip Edward Knatchbull, 27; Amy Alexandra Stewart, 32; Mark Lau San Mao, 30; Amy Georgina Hunt, 30; Amy Grace Ropner, 28; Oliver Francis William Campbell, 31; Thomas Cuthbert Williams-Jones, 31; and Benjamin David Waters, 32.

Lau is the sole Singapore permanent resident in the group, while the rest are British.

Each of them was handed a charge of gathering with nine other individuals outside of their residence on 26 December last year for a social purpose without a reasonable excuse, which is a breach of the Regulation 6 of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

Each was said to have remained on pleasure craft “Advant” between 11.00am and 4pm.

A video of the group of people partying on the yacht was shared widely on social media.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore later said in a media release on 23 January that the vessel was suspended for 30 days after the incident. It added that the number of passengers in the group was more than the maximum group size of five that was allowed at the time.

“Based on preliminary investigations, the craft had been chartered for a social gathering and there was co-mingling among the individuals on board,” it added.

At the time of the alleged offences, Singapore was in Phase 2 of its reopening, which only allowed a maximum of five people in social gatherings. The country only moved into Phase 3 of reopening on 28 December, which permitted larger social gatherings of up to eight people.

Lau and Ropner have indicted that they wish to plead guilty. Their hearing was fixed for 1 March. The remaining eight have further mentions fixed for 26 February.

If convicted of breaching COVID-19 measures, each can be jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $10,000.

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