Two Sri Lankan men, Nagamany Kangatharan, aged 46 and Kandasamy Niththiyananthan, aged 27, were convicted and sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment for possessing fraudulent United Kingdom (UK) passports on Thursday (5 July).
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) stated in a press release that the men were arrested by its officers at the transit area of Changi Airport Terminal 3 in June this year.
According to the authority, investigations revealed that Nagamany and Kandasamy, both unrelated, wanted to seek employment outside of Sri Lanka, and sought the assistance of an unknown agent in Sri Lanka to make the arrangements. The agent arranged for their trip to London through Singapore for a price between 330,000 Sri Lankan rupees (SGD$2,800) and 1 million Sri Lankan rupees (SGD$8,500).
On 18 June 2018, ICA said that both arrived in Singapore from Colombo using Sri Lanka passports issued with their own particulars. On the following day, they met up with a 31-year-old Malaysian man, Ihsan Ismie Bin Ishak who handed them their fraudulent UK passports bearing their photos but with particulars that did not belong to them.
Upon reaching Changi Airport Terminal 1, Nagamany attempted to collect his boarding pass at the check-in counter while Kandasamy observed him. However, Nagamany left the counter hastily, as the ticketing officers took longer than usual to process his boarding pass. Both men then decided to abort their travel plan to London and return to Colombo via Terminal 3.
The duo met up with Ihsan Ismie at the transit area of Terminal 3. At this juncture, ICA officers, who received information about the case, moved in swiftly and arrested the three of them. Ihsan Ismie has been convicted and sentenced to eight months’ jail on 28 June 2018.
ICA stressed that it takes a serious view of persons possessing a fraudulent travel document or abetting others to be in possession of fraudulent travel document. Under the Passports Act Section 47(6), a person knowingly in possession of a false foreign travel document shall be guilty of an offence and if convicted, may be sentenced to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to both.