SINGAPORE: To join his friends at bars and clubs, a teenager altered his identity card so he appeared to be of legal age to enter.
Despite being caught at every nightspot he attempted to enter, the 17-year-old boy continued to try his luck. The teen pleaded guilty on Tuesday (Jul 27) to three charges of altering an NRIC, using an altered IC and possessing a utility knife in public.
Another four charges will be considered in sentencing. He cannot be named as he is a minor.
The court heard that the teenager was 15 or 16 at the time of the offences and working in banquet service.
Sometime in 2019, he photocopied his NRIC and made changes to his birth year and NRIC number so that he would appear to be above the age of 18.
On Jan 1, 2020, a security guard at Sticky Fingers bar in Keng Cheow Street was performing routine checks and he came across the accused. He found that the boy was using a forged NRIC to gain entry into the bar. He admitted forging it.
About a month later on Feb 13, 2020, the boy was invited by his friends to go clubbing. As he knew he was underaged, he made a forged copy of his NRIC to deceive people checking it into believing that he was above 18.
He took photos of the front and back of his NRIC and used a phone application to edit the photos.
He changed the first three characters of his NRIC number and the last character, and also edited his birth date to January 1999 instead of November 2003.
He went to a shop at Tampines Mall, printed the false copy of his identity card and laminated it.
At about 3.30am on Feb 14, 2020, he tried to enter club One Min with the fake copy, but was detained by the bouncer.
The bouncer called the police saying he had detained a boy for using a fake identification card.
In a separate incident a few days before this on Feb 8, 2020, public transport security command officers performed a routine check on the teenager near Tampines MRT station and found a photocopied NRIC and a foldable utility knife on him.
He said he had taken the knife out to use as a bottle opener.
The prosecutor asked for both probation and reformative training suitability reports, saying that the teen reoffended multiple times despite being caught on each occasion.
Defence lawyer Cory Wong of Invictus Law asked for the probation suitability report only, saying that the offences were committed when his client was very young, 15 or 16.
He added that the utility knife was different from a kitchen knife and that the boy had brought it out as a bottle opener.
The judge agreed with the defence and called for only a probation suitability report. The teen will return to court for sentencing next month.
For forging his NRIC to commit fraud, he could be jailed up to four years, fined, or both.