Singapore jails man for 20 weeks over use of fake Malaysian passport


Four other similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

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A spokesperson for the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Friday the agency regularly reviews and enhances the robustness of the immigration processes and systems.

“Since July 2020, all automated and manual immigration lanes/counters at the passengers halls of Singapore’s land, sea and air checkpoints have been equipped with iris and facial scanners,” the spokesperson said.

ICA added that the concurrent use of these biometric identifiers, in addition to fingerprint screening as a secondary biometric identifier will provide even more reliable authentication of the identity of travellers.

This will also further strengthen ICA’s ability to safeguard Singapore’s borders.

The court heard that Lu had departed for Malaysia early in 1991, using his Singapore passport, after forming the belief that he was wanted by the police for his involvement in a gang fight.

Court documents did not specify if Lu was correct in his belief about being wanted by police.

His Singapore passport expired on February 27, 1991.

People take pictures on the Helix bridge. Lu’s charges related to his failure to present a Singapore passport when entering Singapore, producing a misleading document, and making a false statement to obtain a visit pass. Photo: AFP

Between 2000 and 2004, Lu obtained a fraudulent Malaysian identity card, under the name Low Kheng Nyok through a Malaysian friend at a fee of 10,000 ringgit (US$2,100) to 20,000 ringgit.

A year after he got his Malaysian identity card, Lu obtained a Malaysian passport with his photograph and fake particulars.

He wanted to travel to Singapore to visit his family and ageing mother, but Lu did not want to use his actual identity, as he still believed he was wanted by the authorities.

In 2006, Lu obtained a second Malaysia passport in a similar fashion even though he knew that the particulars in both passports did not represent him, said Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Muhammad Izzat from ICA.

On January 4, 2008, Lu arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 2 where he did not present a Singapore passport to the immigration officer for arrival immigration clearance.

Lu did so to evade detection by the authorities, and instead produced the Malaysian passport he obtained in 2006 and a disembarkation form to the immigration officer.

He was granted a 30-day visit pass.

Passengers walk to an immigration checkpoint at Singapore’s Changi International Airport Terminal 4. Photo: AFP

A few months later, Lu repeated the process when he arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 1 to depart Singapore.

Unaware that Lu had a produced a Malaysian passport with particulars that did not represent him, the immigration officer had unwittingly allowed Lu to leave, DSP Izzat said.

On April 25, 2009, Lu returned to Singapore in the same manner with his disembarkation form filled using false particulars, and was again granted a 30-day visit pass.

ICA commenced investigations into Lu on June 28 last year as he was traced to be a person using multiple identities.

Lu was arrested on June 27 this year after investigations completed.

Seeking between 20 and 22 weeks’ jail, DSP Izzat argued that even though Lu is a Singapore citizen, he had chosen to circumvent the country’s border control by using a Malaysian passport.

DSP Izzat also added that Lu had committed the offences over a prolonged period in circumstances where border control measures have to be safeguarded.

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In delivering his decision, District Judge Paul Chan disagreed with the defence counsel asking for 16 weeks’ jail and emphasised that the principle of deterrence had an important role to play in sentencing Lu.

“It is an issue of national security as what is at stake here is Singapore’s ability to police its own borders,” he said.

For each charge of producing a false document, Lu could have been jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$6,000 (US$4,500), or both.

For making a false statement to obtain a visit pass, he could also have been jailed for up to 12 months or fined S$4,000, or both.

For each charge of failing to present his Singapore passport before entry, Lu could also have been jailed for up to six months or fined S$1,000, or both.



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