Afghan national jailed a year for using false Iranian passport

An Afghan national, who used a false Iranian passport to fly to Indonesia from Singapore, was jailed for a year on Tuesday.

Mohammad Arif Ghulam Haidar, 35, pleaded guilty to deceiving a member of Garuda Indonesia Airlines ground staff with the fake passport bearing his name and picture. He committed the offence at 11.50am on May 12 at Changi Airport.

A district court heard Mohammad Arif, a shop assistant in Kabul, arrived here on May 11 with two companions. They flew in from Afghanistan via Dubai and checked into the Transit Hotel at the airport.

The next day, one of his companions left to meet an unknown person and returned with the false Iranian passport. Mohammad Arif used it to board a Garuda flight departing for Jakarta at 12.30pm. The fake passport was discovered there and he was sent back here.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Terrence Szetoh Khai Hoe said that Indonesia does not permit entry to those travelling on Afghan passports for fear that they might try to sneak into Australia by boat.

Speaking through the Farsi interpreter, Mohammad Arif, who did not have a lawyer, said that there was a war in his country and he was unable to support his wife and three children. He said that he was intending to sneak into Indonesia to find a better paying job.