SINGAPORE: Two men have been sentenced to 8 months' jail for offences related to a fake passport and forged identification card.
In a news release on Saturday (Jun 6), the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that both Sri Lankan men were arrested by its officers at Tuas Checkpoint on Feb 29, 2020.
Pushparaj Kapil, 21, had wanted to seek asylum in Canada, and sought help from a person known to him as "Sam".
Kapil agreed to pay "Sam" 60 lakh Sri Lankan Rupee (S$45,000) for travel arrangements to Canada. "Sam" then contacted Ramachandran Kriysso Prasshad, 32, who agreed to facilitate Kapil’s journey to Canada.
Prasshad then became acquainted with a Malaysian man known as “Muhammad”, and obtained a false Singapore passport and a forged Singapore identity card from “Muhammad’s” associate on Jan 26 in Kuala Lumpur.
On Feb 28, Prasshad handed Kapil a pouch containing the counterfeit documents, and both of them took a bus from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to catch a direct flight to Laos.
Both men arrived at Tuas Checkpoint the next day at about 6.30am. At the immigration counter, Kapil presented his Sri Lankan passport to an ICA officer for
immigration clearance, but the officer sensed something was amiss during a brief interview.
The officer then referred both Kapil and Prasshad to the duty office for further assessment.
At the duty office, ICA officers searched both mens' bags and found the counterfeit documents in Kapil's possession - the identity card and the biodata page of the Singapore passport had Kapil’s name and photograph, but the rest of the details did not belong to him.
Both men were immediately arrested.
Kapil was convicted for having in possession a false Singapore passport and a forged Singapore identity card. Prasshad was convicted for abetting Kapil to be in a possession of these forged documents.
"The ICA takes a serious view of persons possessing false travel documents or forged identity cards, or abetting others to be in possession of these forged documents," said ICA.
A person who is found guilty and convicted of knowingly possessing a false Singapore passport or a forged identity card can be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to 10 years, or both.
The same punishment applies to anyone who abets such an offence.