Jail for third man involved in IPPT cheating case

Engineer Nicholas Tan Kin Sung, 37, pleaded guilty to two cheating charges involving $800 in all.
Engineer Nicholas Tan Kin Sung, 37, pleaded guilty to two cheating charges involving $800 in all. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - The third and final man involved in an Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) cheating scheme was sentenced to four months' jail on Monday (March 27).

Engineer Nicholas Tan Kin Sung, 37, pleaded guilty to two cheating charges involving $800 in all.

The mastermind behind the ruse, salesman Lim Chun Chyi, now 37, was jailed for 18 months on March 20 after pleading guilty to 20 cheating charges involving $8,000.

Another 73 charges for similar offences involving $16,700 were taken into consideration during Lim's sentencing.

On Sept 13 last year, Kho Puay Meng, 39, was jailed for two months after pleading guilty to one charge of conspiring to cheat.

 
 

Between 2011 and 2014, the trio took the IPPT for 72 NSmen and pocketed the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) incentive payouts.

Tan and Lim first got to know each other in 2011 while serving their reservist at Bukit Gombak Camp.

Three years later, Lim asked for his help to pretend to be other operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) to take the IPPT on their behalf.

In return, Tan would receive a cut of the relevant payout disbursed by Mindef.

A gold award recipient is entitled to $400, while a silver award garners $200. A pass-with-incentive award is $100.

The clients passed the money to Lim after receiving their payouts.

Lim would then give part of it to Tan, who earned $400 in all for his role in the scam.

Lim was the only one who interacted with the clients.

He would either actively solicit clients or receive requests from them via phone calls or WhatsApp messages. He would then register for the IPPT on his client's behalf.

Occasionally, Lim would ask clients for an additional $50 fee for engaging his services. If they agreed to his terms, he would ask for their personal details and use these to register online via the NS portal for a time slot at one of the many army fitness centres islandwide.

He would then meet his clients to collect their identity documents, such as identity cards and driver's licences, to get into the centres.

Tan went on behalf of the clients on two occasions - on Nov 24, 2014 and a week later.

Lim was caught on Dec 6, 2014, after a fitness trainer at Khatib Camp noticed he looked familiar. He recalled that the same man had taken the IPPT a few weeks ago.

The Singapore Armed Forces Provost started its investigations soon after this and the matter was referred to the police in April 2015.

Tan's sentence has been deferred to April 10 as he has to settle some personal matters.

He was offered a bail of $30,000.

For each count of cheating, he could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined.