COVID-19: Couple arrested over alleged leak of home-based learning details ahead of release

FILE PHOTO: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A couple have been arrested for allegedly leaking details of the implementation of full home-based learning by schools and institutes of higher learning ahead of official release, the police said on Sunday (5 April).

The 37-year-old woman and the 38-year-old man are being investigated for wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act. The government’s measures are aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

On Friday, at about 5.45pm, the Police received a report that a draft joint media statement by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education, which also included details on the closure of pre- schools and student care centres, had been leaked to the public before it was officially released.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the woman, a public servant who is authorised to receive the media statement, had allegedly taken a screenshot of the statement on her computer screen and shared it with her husband via WhatsApp on Friday at about 9am. 

Her husband, who is not an authorised recipient of the statement, later shared the image with his friends. The image became publicly available before the media statement was officially released to the media on Friday at 4.30pm.

Police investigations are ongoing.

“The government takes a serious view of any wrongful communication of confidential information, and will deal firmly (with) anyone who does so,” the police said.

A person who is convicted for such an offence faces a fine of up to $2,000 and a maximum jail term of two years.

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