Two men fined for running unlicensed bubble tea shop during circuit breaker period

SINGAPORE – Two men were fined $12,000 for operating an unlicensed bubble tea shop in Clementi during the circuit breaker period, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Wednesday (June 30).

On May 29 last year, SFA officers inspected a Bobertea outlet at Block 442 Clementi Avenue 3 and found that it was operating without a licence.

SFA said: “All ingredients used for the preparation of bubble teas were seized and destroyed on the same day.”

This was during circuit breaker period measures last year between April 7 and June 1, when non-essential businesses and standalone food and beverage businesses that sell only beverages, packaged snacks, confectionaries or desserts were ordered to close to control the surge in local Covid-19 cases.

Further investigations by SFA found that the shop manager Kok Khen Foon Gabriel was conducting staff training at the outlet, as instructed by Bobertea Clementi director Oh Jing Wen Joseph.

Kok was also taking online orders for bubble tea without Oh’s knowledge, said SFA.

On Wednesday, Kok was fined $6,500 in court for failing to comply with restrictions during the circuit breaker period as well as for operating an unlicensed retail food establishment.

Oh was also fined for $5,500 for not complying with Covid-19 measures.

Under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, first-time offenders face a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Subsequent offenders may face a fine of up to $20,000, jail of up to 12 months, or both.

Under the Environmental Public Health Act, those found operating food establishments without a valid licence can be fined up to $10,000.

Repeat offenders can be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000, jailed a maximum of three months or both.

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