SINGAPORE, Dec. 30 — A Singaporean man left the country for Malaysia believing he was wanted by police for involvement in a gang war. He then obtained a fake Malaysian passport, which he used to visit his family in Singapore between 2008 and 2009.
Andrew Loo Eng Leong, 58, pleaded guilty yesterday (December 29) to five charges under the Immigration Act and was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison.
These charges related to failing to present a Singapore passport upon entering Singapore, producing misleading documents, and making false statements to obtain a visit permit.
Four other similar charges were also taken into consideration at sentencing.
In a media statement on Friday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said it regularly reviews and strengthens the robustness of its immigration procedures and systems.
“Since July 2020, iris scanners and facial scanners have been installed at all automatic and manual entry lanes or counters in passenger halls at land, sea and air checkpoints in Singapore.”
It added that the simultaneous use of these biometric identifiers, in addition to fingerprint screening as a secondary biometric identifier, makes the authentication of a traveler’s identity even more reliable.
He said this would also further strengthen Singapore’s ability to protect its borders.
The court heard that in early 1991, Mr Loo traveled to Malaysia using a Singaporean passport, believing he was wanted by police for involvement in a gang war.
Court documents do not specify whether he was correct in his belief that he was wanted by police.
His Singapore passport expired on February 27, 1991.
Sometime between 2000 and 2004, he sold a fraudulent Malaysian identity card named “Low Kheng Nyok” through a Malaysian friend for fees ranging from RM10,000 (approximately S$3,000) to RM20,000. I got it at
A year after getting his Malaysian identity card, he got a Malaysian passport with his photo and fake details.
He wanted to go to Singapore to see his family and elderly mother, but did not want to reveal his true identity as he still believed he was wanted by the authorities.
According to ICA Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Muhammad Izzat, Lu obtained a second Malaysian passport in a similar manner in 2006, despite knowing that the information on both passports was not representative of him. It is said that he did.
On January 4, 2008, Ms Lu arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 2, where she went through immigration control without presenting her Singapore passport to an immigration officer.
He did this to avoid detection by the authorities, and instead presented his Malaysian passport, which he obtained in 2006, and handed his immigration documents to the immigration officer.
He was given a 30-day visit pass.
A few months later, I repeated the same process when I arrived at Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 to depart Singapore.
DSP Izzat said immigration officials unknowingly allowed Lu to leave the country, not knowing that he had produced a Malaysian passport with information that did not identify him.
On April 25, 2009, Ms Lu returned to Singapore in the same manner, submitting an exit form with false details, and was again granted a 30-day visit permit.
The ICA began investigating Lu on June 28 last year after discovering that he was using multiple identities.
Mr Lu was arrested on June 27 this year after the investigation was completed.
national security issues
Asking for a sentence of 20 to 22 weeks, DSP Izzat argued that Mr Lu chose to use a Malaysian passport to evade border controls despite being a Singaporean citizen.
DSP Izzat added that Mr Lu committed the crime over a long period of time in circumstances where he had to comply with border control measures.
In handing down the sentence, District Judge Paul Chan disagreed with the defense’s request for a 16-week sentence, stressing that the principle of deterrence would play a key role in Lu’s sentencing.
“This is a national security issue because what is at issue here is Singapore’s ability to police its own borders,” he said.
The penalty for making a false document is imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding S$6,000, or both.
Mr Loo could have been jailed for up to 12 months, fined S$4,000 or both for making false statements to obtain a visit permit.
Failure to produce a Singapore passport before entering the country could have resulted in up to six months in prison, a fine of S$1,000, or both. – today