Cabby forged papers for pick-ups from secured site

He is fined $15,000 for forging papers to enter Changi Air Freight Centre

A taxi driver forged 12 taxi clearance documents, intending to use them to enter the protected Changi Air Freight Centre (CAC) for pick-up jobs as he could earn more money that way.

Tan Cheng Thong, 66, was originally issued with taxi clearance documents by Pantos Logistics Singapore to ferry workers from its office within CAC in Airline Road in 2015.

After the last taxi clearance document, addressed to the Commander of Airport Police Division, expired in December 2015, he was no longer given clearance within the CAC last year.

But he wanted to carry on picking up workers there because it was more profitable than normal roadside pick-ups. So he decided to forge the monthly taxi clearance document to enable him to access CAC for the whole of last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Goh Chioa Wei said Tan used the forged documents to enter CAC on at least two occasions in January and February last year, until he was caught on Feb 24 the same year.

At about 12.30am that day, a Certis Cisco auxiliary police officer was checking Tan's taxi clearance document when he noticed some details which were painted over using correction fluid.

The officer informed his supervisor who then called the police. Tan was arrested.

Investigation showed that Tan had gained entry multiple times into CAC in January and February last year by using forged authorisation letters which were purportedly issued by Pantos.

Investigations showed that Tan had gained entry multiple times into CAC in January and February last year by using forged authorisation letters which were purportedly issued by Pantos.

DPP Goh sought a fine of $5,000 to be imposed on each of three forgery charges which Tan admitted to.

She said that the security of the CAC had been compromised, and in this era of increased incidence of terrorist attacks, general deterrence was needed to send an unequivocal message that such conduct would not be tolerated.

For the first nine months of last year, she said, 15 people were arrested for offences under the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act, mostly involving cases of travellers misusing their boarding passes, or airport staff abusing their airport seasonal pass.

"Places gazetted as protected places and protected areas are of national security interest to Singapore and any breach ought not to be taken lightly," she said.

She said threats to protected places and protected areas ought to be taken very seriously, and accordingly, a stiff sentence was warranted.

Tan, who was fined $15,000, could have been jailed for up to four years and/or fined on each charge.

Ten other charges were taken into consideration.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2017, with the headline 'Cabby forged papers for pick-ups from secured site'. Print Edition | Subscribe