STRATCOM is warning members of the public that they are committing an offence by sending and posting misleading information in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The police have asked those involved to desist from this illegal practice.
As Observer posts this warning, a voice note claiming that parliament took a decision to order the closure of supermarkets island-wide beginning Monday, is currently making the rounds on WhatsApp.
Observer media has confirmed that that is inaccurate information.
“That’s fake news,” expressed Lionel “Max” Hurst, government Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Electronics Crimes (Amendment) Act of 2018 makes it an offence to “publish any false document on any website with the intent that it be acted upon as if it were the real document”.
A person who contravenes this act is liable on-
(i) summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both; or
(ii) conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding $500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to both.
N.B The term “electronic mail” or “electronic message” means a message or information created or transmitted or received on an electronic system or electronic device including attachments in text, images, audio, video and any other electronic record which may be transmitted with the message.