A Singaporean national was yesterday sentenced to four months in jail and fined $9,000 (Shs31m) for entering the Southeast Asian island country with a fake Ugandan passport procured in China.
Singaporean media reported that Leng Choun Keong had lived in China since 1995 where he worked a disc jockey when he did not renew his Singapore passport or renew his exit permit for overseas employment.
During the same time, he also evaded his National Service reservist duties for about 12 years until he clocked the statutory age of 40.
The court heard, Singaporean English daily, The Strait Times reported, that Leng did not renew his Singapore passport after it expired in 2005 and later lost it.
He had been issued three exit permits for overseas employment purposes, spanning from June 1995 to April 1998, Todayonline reported.
The authorities sent three reminder letters to his registered address in Singapore and his last known overseas address, a hotel in Xiamen, but he did not respond.
Sometime in 2018, he decided to return to Singapore as his mother and brother were ill, but realised that he did not have a valid passport and was afraid of being punished by the Chinese authorities for overstaying in China, Strait Times reported.
Afraid, Leng approached a friend, known only as “Fredrick”, and asked for his help to get another passport, which he used to travel to Singapore. Court heard that he acquired the passport at $20,000 (Shs70m).
About a month later, he received a passport with his photograph affixed on it.
It bore the name “Leng Christopher” and stated that his nationality was Ugandan and that he had been born in Malaysia.
Leng stayed China until January last year when he used the passport to enter Singapore.
On October 14 of the same year, he approached the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority for citizenship services.
He was referred to the Ministry of Defence’s Central Manpower Base for investigations.
On May 31 this year, he was arrested by an ICA officer for knowingly producing a misleading passport.