A 42-year-old Malaysian sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment on Thursday (1 August) for abetting four Sri Lankans to be in possession of forged Malaysia passports.
In a press release, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that investigations revealed that Jagathes Kumar Koil Pillai had assisted four Sri Lankans – 35-year-old Kalaichandran Vinothan, 37-year-old Suresh Sutharshiny, 19-year-old Kajenthiran Kajeepan, and 26-year-old Krishnapillai Navaraj to possess forged Malaysia passports.
According to the authority, the four of them had wanted to seek refuge in either Italy or Switzerland, and sought an unknown Sri Lankan agent to make arrangements for their trip there.
It noted that the agent arranged for their trip through Singapore for a price ranging between 1,000,000 and 3,000,000 Sri Lanka rupees (about SGD$8,500 to $25,600).
ICA said that when the four of them arrived in Singapore on 27 December 2017, Jagathes handed Vinothan, Kajeepan, Navaraj and Sutharshiny with four forged Malaysia passports and their boarding passes for their journey to Italy in a toilet at Changi Airport Terminal 1.
It noted that while the passports bore their photographs, the particulars did not belong to them.
Thereafter, Jagathes left the group and returned to Malaysia. The four Sri Lankans were then arrested by ICA officers before they were able to board their flight.
For being in possession of forged travel documents, the four Sri Lankans were convicted and sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment on 12 January 2018.
ICA said that Jagathes was arrested on 3 July 2018 in Kuala Lumpur with the help of the Singapore Police Force and Royal Malaysian Police. He was subsequently escorted back to Singapore for investigations by ICA officers on 4 July 2018.
ICA stressed that it takes a serious view of persons possessing a false travel document or abetting others to be in possession of one.
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.