An online witch-hunt for a man involved in a petrol station dispute has left him fearing for his family’s safety, Chinese daily Shin Min has reported.
According to a report on Mon (Apr 16), the man, who was driving a BMW, has filed a police report after false allegations were shared on social media.
A Facebook page dedicated to “hunting” the man down was even set up, with users contributing photos of the man and his home and work details.
Shin Min said that the man, who works in sales, is also fearful that the rumours online could cause irreparable damage to his reputation.
Among the allegations being shared, is one that states the man had told an attendant at a Caltex station in Tampines that he wanted “fuel 10” in his car. The rumour alleges that he had done so to confuse the attendant into giving him a “full tank” of petrol.
But in its exclusive interview with the man, Shin Min reported that the driver claims he had actually asked for $10 worth of grade 95 petrol in Mandarin. He denies saying “fuel 10” to confuse the attendant.
Responding to doubts about the low amount of petrol he claims he had asked for, the driver said he had only wanted to make sure he had enough petrol to get to an automotive trader’s office in Jurong as his car was due for a trade-in.
Admitting that he was upset at the time of the incident, the driver said it was not because he wanted the attendant to pay up, but because the attendant had insisted there was no mistake made, and even raised his voice at one point.
The Straits Times said in a follow-up report that the police had verified that a miscommunication had occurred, and “established that no offence was disclosed”.
“It was a case of miscommunication between the pump attendant and the vehicle owner on the amount of petrol to be pumped at the petrol kiosk in Tampines.
“We have verified that the vehicle owner was due to trade in his vehicle on the same day, and would not require more than the necessary fuel,” The Straits Times quoted the police as saying.