Restaurant chain Paradise Group has been fined S$530,000 for tampering with its restaurants’ gas meters and using more than S$600,000 of gas without paying for it.
The company was found guilty of 29 out of 33 charges of tampering gas meters and dishonestly consuming gas, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) said on Friday (Jun 24).
The S$530,000 fine is in addition to the cost of gas illegally consumed, EMA added.
In March 2012, City Gas detected an abnormally low consumption of gas at Taste Paradise, a restaurant at ION Orchard shopping mall. City Gas and SP PowerGrid then carried out an inspection and found that the restaurant’s gas meter installation had been tampered with.
The lock on the gas meter bypass valve was found to be different from those used by SP PowerGrid. The bypass valve of the gas meter installation had also been opened, allowing gas to flow without registering on the meter. The bypass valve is to allow for maintenance works without disrupting gas supply.
Subsequent inspections carried out at 23 other Paradise Group restaurants in April 2012 also uncovered similar tampering of their gas meter installations, EMA said.
“Our gas supply is an essential utility. Theft of utilities is unacceptable and results in other consumers having to pay more,” Mr Yeo Yek Seng, EMA’s Deputy Chief Executive (Regulation) said.
“Tampering of meters may also possibly disrupt gas supply and pose safety risks. EMA will take firm action against anyone who tampers with their gas meters and tries to dishonestly consume gas.”