Naturalised S'porean could lose citizenship

Other blemishes on Mick Davies' record include flouting laws here and abroad, says MHA.
Other blemishes on Mick Davies' record include flouting laws here and abroad, says MHA.

He used forged certs in 2002 citizenship bid, probe shows; other disclosures not made

A naturalised Singaporean once ranked among China's 100 wealthiest individuals stands to be stripped of his citizenship and has 21 days to ask for his case to be heard.

Mick Davies, 58, who changed his name from Lan Shili in 2014, was served a notice yesterday, following a probe which showed that he had used forged educational certificates to support his citizenship application in 2002.

He also failed to disclose then that he had previously held the passport and citizenship of a third country.

Other blemishes on his record include flouting laws both here and abroad, which meant "it is not conducive to the public good for him to remain a Singapore citizen", said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) yesterday.

Davies is understood to have been recently released from prison, having served a five-month jail sentence for using a Hong Kong passport with the particulars of another person to return to Singapore in July 2016.

He was imprisoned in China in 2010 for tax evasion and was being investigated for fraud by the Chinese authorities in 2016.

Although Davies' Singapore passport had been impounded, he managed to flee China and enter Vietnam illegally.

There, he tried and failed to obtain a travel document at the Singapore mission in Hanoi by lying that he had lost his Singapore passport. Subsequently, he returned under a false identity.

He was detained by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, convicted and jailed for multiple immigration offences related to his Singapore entry.

Davies became a Singapore citizen in 2002 but there was no adverse information against him at that time, said MHA.

Aside from Davies, he went by another name, Jack Thomson, in 2013.

MHA said the Government takes a very serious view of persons who commit fraud and provide false information to conceal material facts in their application to any Singaporean immigration facility, including for citizenship.

"Those found to have done so will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law," it said.

If he applies to be referred to a citizenship committee of inquiry, his case will be heard and the findings reported to the Minister for Home Affairs to decide whether to strike off his citizenship.

Davies, who has dabbled in many things, from real estate and tourism to telecommunications and even starting an airline, came from humble beginnings.

He left a government job in China at the age of 25 to be an entrepreneur and, shortly after, started a company selling computers with 270 yuan (S$56).

He went on to become the richest man in Hubei province.

The last time that a Singapore citizen was deprived of his Singapore citizenship for having obtained it through deceit or fraudulent means was in 2008, said a spokesman for MHA.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2018, with the headline 'Naturalised S'porean could lose citizenship'. Print Edition | Subscribe