A British man has been arrested in Singapore and faces up to six months in jail after a video of him riding a train without a face mask appeared on Facebook.
Father of two Benjamin Glynn, 39, believes masks are pointless and don’t protect people from contracting Covid-19, so he didn’t wear them when he rode the train home from work.
A fellow commuter secretly filmed him and posted the clip on social media, prompting officers to arrest him hours later.
After 28 hours in a cell, Benjamin, of Helmsley, North Yorkshire, was charged with public harassment.
The recruiter alleges officials said he could face up to six months in prison if found guilty.
Benjamin’s passport was confiscated, preventing him from returning to the UK with his partner and two children, ages five and two, as planned.
He also lost a new job to take on in the UK, fearing he could be bailed for up to 12 months before his trial.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office supports him in this.
Expat Benjamin said: “I had no idea that anyone was filming, but it turned out that a video of me was exposed on the Internet while we were late moving home from work.
“The police obviously saw it and the next day they were at the door.
“I don’t think there is any evidence that masks protect you from Covid-19.
“Normally I would just tell people that I was exempt and that had never posed any problems.
“But now I’m stuck here without my family, and I don’t even know when I’ll appear in court, no matter what my sentence will be.
“All for something I don’t even believe in.”
Benjamin worked for a UK recruitment agency in Singapore since January 2017.
Weeks before he was due to return to the UK for a new job, he was filmed without a mask near Raffles Place, Singapore’s financial district, on May 7th.
In Singapore, with a few exceptions, it is mandatory to wear a mask when leaving the house.
“I usually never wear a mask, but this is the first time I’ve had a problem,” he said.
“I had no idea that anyone was even filming until the police were at the door – I’ve never seen the video because it was removed before I had the chance.”
Police knocked on his door on the evening of May 8th and arrested him while his family was sleeping, he said.
Benjamin said he was told he would be charged with “public harassment” after being exposed on a train the day before.
His arrest papers confirm the charges and set his bail at $ 500.
The anti-masker spent two days in a holding cell before being released on bail the following Monday.
He said officials warned him it could take 12 months for the case to go to court and face up to six months in prison if found guilty.
Amazed Benjamin, whose family returned to Leeds on May 31, said: “This whole situation is ridiculous.
“I want to leave the country anyway – just let me go!
“I think it’s crazy that I’m facing a lawsuit at all just because I’m not wearing a mask.”
He is now unemployed because he was due to move back to a position in the UK that has now been withdrawn.
“It’s a terrible situation where I don’t know the next time I’ll be able to see my family,” he said.
“Especially when I think masks won’t stop the virus from spreading in the first place.
“I honestly think it’s a joke – I don’t think there is any evidence that wearing masks is in any way effective.
“From a scientific point of view, I think that’s nonsense.
“But now I can only wait.”
A Singapore police spokesman said: “As information related to a police investigation is confidential, we cannot comment on the case any further.”
A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are assisting a British man awaiting trial in Singapore and have contacted the local police about his case.”