Four convicted for acting as tour guides without valid licences

Four convicted for acting as tour guides without valid licences

SINGAPORE - Four offenders were convicted in the State Courts today for acting as tourist guides without valid tourist guide (TG) licences.

Longue John Francis, Heng Suan Yam, Koh Ong Nga and Jatuporn Balbir pleaded guilty to the charges against them for their unlicensed TG activities.

For their offences, Francis and Koh were fined a total of S$3,300 each, and Heng and Jatuporn were fined S$1,500 each.

They were intercepted by Singapore Tourism Board (STB) enforcement officers between 2012 and 2013 when they were conducting unlicensed guiding activities at Sultan Mosque, Singapore Flyer, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Merlion Park, and Mount Faber Park.

In a media statement, STB said it takes a serious view against those who engage in unlicensed tourist guiding activities. Regular enforcement checks on the ground will be continued to ensure compliance and to uphold the integrity of the tourist guide regulatory framework. It also said that it is committed to safeguard the reputation of Singapore's tourism sector, and will not hesitate to take necessary action against those who contravene the legislation.

All tourist guides providing guiding services in Singapore are required to obtain TG licences issued by STB. Under regulation 3(2) of the current Singapore Tourism (Licensing and Control of Tourist Guides) Regulations, an offender who acts as a tourist guide without a valid TG licence issued STB is liable to a maximum fine of $3,000 or, in the case of a repeat offender to a maximum fine of $5,000.

Under amendments to the Singapore Tourism Board Act that will come into effect later this year, future offenders will be fined a maximum of $5,000 for acting, offering to act or advertising to act as a tourist guide without a valid TG licence and, in the case of repeat offenders, be liable to a maximum fine of $10,000.

ellenja@sph.com.sg

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