Businessman jailed for supplying fake degree

Judge notes spike in cases of foreigners using fake certs to apply for work passes

A district judge, noting that more foreigners are using fake university degrees to get work passes, sentenced a Chinese national to 12 weeks' jail last month for helping a woman from China get a fake degree.

The judge also noted in judgment grounds last week that businessman Dong Gui Tian showed no remorse.

"As I was reading out the oral grounds for conviction, Dong showed positive aggression and non-remorse by violently banging against the witness dock which he was seated in, breaking the metal latches which secured the dock, thereby damaging court property," said District Judge Carrie Chan.

Dong, a permanent resident here, had supplied a forged university degree in economic science for $3,000 to Li Yang Yang in 2009, to support her work pass application. Li, 30, who came here in 2009, pleaded guilty in 2010 for giving false data to the Manpower Ministry in her employment pass application and got four weeks' jail then.

She had identified Dong as the agent who "did everything for her".

She did not get to work and was supported by her boyfriend while here. She met Dong at least four times and paid a total of $19,000.

She was one of four witnesses who testified for the prosecution.

Dong denied knowing or helping Li, and further claimed that the investigating officer had sought $5,000 in bribes from him in 2010.

But the judge noted Li had no reason to falsely implicate Dong and that Dong did not offer evidence to support his claim that the probe officer had asked him for money.

The prosecutors, Mr Amos Tan and Ms Madhu Satish Kumar, called for a deterrent jail term, pointing to Dong's two past convictions for cheating and helping to employ a foreign worker illegally, and citing the spike in forged certificates.

There were seven cases of foreigners involved in forged certificates in 2010 , and 77 two years later.

Dong is appealing against the 12-week jail term and conviction.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 08, 2015, with the headline 'Businessman jailed for supplying fake degree'. Print Edition | Subscribe