SINGAPORE: A horrifying story of a child being drugged and having his appearance altered in an attempted kidnapping at a Legoland is making its rounds again on social media again.
A screen shot of a Facebook post by a Singaporean user Daniel Boey, claims that a six-year-old boy went missing in the theme park after the boy’s mother took her eyes off him for just a few seconds while queuing up for food.
The boy was found a few hours later wearing different clothes and shoes, was without his hair, and in a drowsy state.
While the post did not specify which Legoland it was, Legoland Malaysia said it has received a number of calls from concerned visitors recently about this post.
The attraction, which is about 30 minutes away from Singaporeâ€™s Tuas Checkpoint by car, is popular with Singaporean families who make up about a third of the visitorship.
Mark Germyn, divisional director of Legoland Malaysia Resort’s executive office, told The Straits Times that the post was a hoax and that no such incident had happened in any of the six Legolands in the world.
“We pride ourselves as being a safe and secure environment for our guests to be in… We take such matters extremely seriously,” said Germyn. “It’s very hard to control what gets shared on social media and this hoax has come up consistently and caused unnecessary concern for parents.”
Legoland said when the post first surfaced in 2012, it filed a report with Malaysian police and reported the matter to Facebook.
Inspector Wong Chee Hoong, officer in charge of Anjung Police Station in Johor, said: “The Facebook post is bogus and there have been no kidnapping cases or such reports in Legoland Malaysia Resort.”
Attempts to reach Boey to verify his story were unsuccessful.
Germyn stressed that despite the attraction spanning more than 307,500 sq m, or the size of five football fields, and having thousands of visitors, the entire park was safe and under surveillance.
There are surveillance cameras around the park as well as park rangers and plainclothes security officers patrolling. There is also a police booth near the entrance of the theme park, he said.
When The Straits Times visited Legoland Malaysia last week, police officers were seen patrolling.
Candice Sek, 33, a social worker who was in the park last week, said she had seen the Facebook post but that did not deter her from making the trip down.
“I’m definitely more alert here. As a parent, I will err on the side of caution. If anything happens to my child, I will regret it the rest of my life,” she said.
Engineer Siow Chew Yong, 44, who was also at Legoland, said: “In general, we feel safe here. We will still keep an eye on our children, but not to the extent of holding their hands everywhere. So long as they are within our sight, that is fine.” â€“ The Straits Times/Asia News Network