Man accused of sending fake message to NTU researcher that he had COVID-19

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SINGAPORE: A man was accused on Monday May 17 of knowingly forwarding a false message to a researcher at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) that he could not attend a “session” because he had COVID-19 and was quarantined at the hospital.

Paul Chan Kin Nang, 40, was charged with transmitting a false message under the Miscellaneous Offenses (Public Order and Nuisance) Act to NTU researcher Lau Zen Juen.

The charge sheet states that Chan emailed Ms Lau at 12:47 p.m. on September 6, 2020, stating, “Hello, I cannot attend tomorrow’s session as I have tested positive for Covid19 and am now in quarantine in hospital. “

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Chan allegedly knew this to be false because he had not tested positive for COVID-19, the document continued.

Court documents at the start of the arraignment did not specify which “session” Chan was supposed to attend, or how the allegations came to light.

According to online research websites, the researcher he allegedly lied to is studying the cognitive neuroscience of deception.

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The email address he allegedly sent the fake message to was listed in a Facebook post to NTU psychology majors in July 2020, calling for volunteers to participate in a decision-making study using resonance imaging. magnetic (MRI).

The offense Chan has been charged with is relatively new – it was added to the Miscellaneous Offenses (Public Order and Nuisance) Act in January of last year.

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The latest reported case for such an offense involved Kenneth Lai Yong Hui, a taxi driver jailed for four months in May 2020 for posting a fake Facebook post about the alleged closure of grocery stores and for urging people to buy more. the panic.

If convicted of the offense, Chan can be jailed for up to three years, fined up to S $ 10,000, or both.

TBEN contacted NTU for more information.

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