Two Sri Lankan men, 21-year-old Pushparaj Kapil and 32-year-old Ramachandran Kriysso Prasshad, were convicted and sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment. 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. They were arrested by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers when the counterfeit documents were found in Kapil’s possession at Tuas Checkpoint.
Investigations revealed that Kapil wanted to seek asylum in Canada and sought help from a person known to him as “Sam”. He agreed to pay “Sam” 60 lakhs Sri Lankan rupees (about SGD 45,000) for the travel arrangements to Canada. “Sam” then contacted Prasshad, who agreed to facilitate Kapil’s journey to Canada. Subsequently, Prasshad got acquainted with a Malaysian man known as “Muhammad” and obtained the counterfeit documents – a false Singapore passport and a forged Singapore identity card – from “Muhammad’s” associate on 26 January 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On 28 February 2020, both Kapil and Prasshad took a bus from Kuala Lumpur with the intention to travel to Singapore to catch a direct flight to Laos. Before they departed Kuala Lumpur, Prasshad handed Kapil a pouch containing the counterfeit documents.
The duo arrived at Tuas Checkpoint on 29 February 2020. At the immigration counter, Kapil presented his rightful Sri Lankan passport to an ICA officer for immigration clearance. Through a brief interview, the vigilant officer sensed that something was amiss and referred Kapil to the duty office for further assessment. As Prasshad was Kapil’s travel companion, he was also referred to the duty office.
At the duty office, ICA officers conducted a search on Kapil’s and Prasshad’s bags and immediately arrested both men after finding the counterfeit documents in Kapil’s possession. The identity card and the biodata page of the Singapore passport bore Kapil’s name and photograph, but the rest of the details did not belong to him.
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. Under Section 37(1) of the Passports Act and Section 13(2)(b) of the National Registration Act, a person who knowingly has possession of a false Singapore passport or a forged identity card, respectively, shall be guilty of an offence. If convicted, he or she may be sentenced to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to both. For abetting such an offence, a person may be sentenced with the same punishment.