7 police reports filed on fake certs

A safety training centre in the north gives workers who complete a course a certificate with fancy borders and a gold sticker.

The design used to be simpler, said the centre director, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan. But he made it more elaborate after receiving complaints that fake certificates supposedly belonging to his company were circulating in the market.

So far, Mr Tan, whose centre is accredited by the Manpower Ministry, has made seven police reports since April about the false certificates. "I was shocked to find out that they were so daring."

Police confirmed the reports and said investigations are ongoing.

Mr Tan found out about the ruse in April when an ex-student showed him two certificates and asked if they were authentic. He checked and could not find the names in his computer system, he added.

The certificates looked different, though they bore his centre's name and logo.

Some of them were scanned into a computer and edited, he said.

"They are badly printed and looked smaller on paper or cards, like they have been squeezed," he added.

At least 10 people had approached him for receipts for courses that they had supposedly attended so as to claim expenses.

"These are the cases I know about. Who knows if there are more?" he said.

"Previously, agents had asked us if they could send us students and we would give them all passes," he added.

"Of course, I told them 'no'. I don't do that. It's wrong and illegal."

Aw Cheng Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 20, 2015, with the headline '7 police reports filed on fake certs'. Print Edition | Subscribe