SINGAPORE — Anuar Ahadun's mini-bus was modified with an additional blue light on the front bumper, two side-facing seats, disco and laser lighting and two units of smoke machines. It also contained a cooler box filled with cans of beer.
The so-called party bus provided music, alcohol and karaoke to customers during Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening. However, Anuar did not have the required public entertainment licence issued under the Public Entertainments Act to do so.
The 56-year-old was fined $2,000 on Thursday (25 November). He had pleaded guilty to one count of providing public entertainment without a license and agreed to have another count of supplying liquor without a license taken into consideration for his sentencing.
"The accused operated the 'party bus' service during Phase 2 of the COVID-19 restrictions in Singapore. Such services encourage group gatherings where members of these groups are often un-masked, thus hampering the efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Claudia Chen.
Anuar was the sole proprietor of Master Transportation Singapore which owned the mini-bus.
On 24 July last year, a 31-year-old woman booked Anuar’s “party bus” service via WhatsApp after a referral from a friend. The woman arranged for Anuar to provide transportation in his mini-bus for herself and four other friends from 40 Sago Lane to 76 Shenton Way to celebrate a birthday.
At about 8pm that day, Anuar picked up the group. He played music from Spotify on his mobile phone, which was connected to the vehicle entertainment system.
“During the journey, the disco lights were switched on and the group ‘partied’ to the music and consumed beer provided in a cooler box within the mini-bus,” said DPP Chen. The woman paid about $110 for the “party bus” service.
On other occasions, when passengers requested to play their own music, Anuar would allow them to connect their own mobile phones via Bluetooth to the mini-bus’s vehicle entertainment system, which had two bass speakers. On other occasions, Anuar supplied passengers with two microphones if they wanted to sing karaoke.
On 30 July last year, at about 10pm, Land Transport Authority (LTA) enforcement officers were deployed for a joint operation with officers from the Public Service Vocational Licensing Department. The officers approached Anuar's mini-bus, which was parked along Circular Road at the junction of Canton Street, on suspicion that it was plying the streets as a "party bus”.
Officers noted the modifications on his vehicle and recovered a cooler box filled with cans of beer. The mini-bus was later impounded by LTA.
DPP Chen had sought a $3,000 fine for Anuar citing prevailing COVID-19 restrictions at the time.
For providing public entertainment without a license, Anuar could have been fined up to $20,000.
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