Source : Google streetview.

The Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) issued a press release last Tue (14 Jan) saying that a Filipino was jailed for 7 weeks for immigration offences (‘Female Filipino National Jailed For Making False Statements In Permanent Residency Applications‘).

The 38-year-old female Filipino, De Luna Noriza Dancel, was sentenced to seven weeks’ imprisonment for “providing false statements to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on her and her daughter’s Permanent Residency (PR) applications”, ICA said.

ICA further revealed that she submitted false documents purportedly from the Centro Escolar University during her PR application in 2008 and 2009. She was eventually granted PR by ICA but was only arrested about a decade later in 2017 for submitting the fake documents. And in took about another 2 years for her to be prosecuted and sentenced.

ICA said in its statement, “On 25 October 2017, ICA officers arrested De Luna for making false statements in her applications for PR for herself and her daughter, Tayde Deevy Rick De Luna, in 2008 and 2009 respectively.”

“The case was surfaced following ICA’s internal investigations. Verifications with the Centro Escolar University located in Manila, Philippines revealed that De Luna has no records of enrolment at the said school, and the diploma and transcript which De Luna had submitted for the applications did not originate from their office,” ICA added.

In other words, the Filipino submitted a fake degree to ICA when she applied for PR. It’s not known why ICA did not check the authenticity of her degree when she first submitted her PR application back in 2008 and 2009. It’s also not known what prompted subsequent ICA’s internal investigations.

ICA warned that it takes a very serious view of persons who provide false information or conceal material facts during their applications for any Singapore immigration facility.

“Any person who has made a false statement in their applications for immigration facilities will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law. This may include having their immigration facilities deprived or revoked,” ICA said. “For those who have been convicted of an offence, the statuses of their family members will also be reviewed by the ICA.”

Not the first brush with the law

In any case, it does not appear that last week’s sentencing was De Luna’s first brush with Singapore’s law.

Online checks show that in 2012, she was charged and fined $50,000 for setting up and running 2 unlicensed employment agencies (‘S’pore PR fined $50k for unlicensed employment agency‘). At the time, she has already obtained her PR.

In fact, she was the first unlicensed employment agent to be convicted as a principal offender under the Revised Employment Agencies Act that came into effect in 2011. She was also convicted for employing her Filipino husband, Caladiao William Tolentino, without a valid work pass.

Her husband was fined $20,000 for abetting De Luna in her illegal employment activities as well as charged for working in Singapore without a valid work pass since he was on a social visit pass then. Her husband was helping her to post job advertisements, source for prospective employers and employees, and collect agency fees, among other duties.

Both her husband and herself were arrested on 13 Dec 2011. It’s not known why her PR was not terminated by ICA when she was convicted and sentenced for running unlicensed employment agencies in 2012, and also why ICA did not find out about her fake degree during the investigations into her illegal employment activities in 2011-2012.

It’s not known if any of the agency’s customers, like De Luna, have also used fake degrees in their applications for work passes and if the authorities would check through all the work pass applications that have gone through De Luna’s illegal agencies.

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