SINGAPORE - In an application for permanent residence status for three children, a stall assistant declared that they were his by marriage. In fact, they had all been adopted by him.
Indian national Noor Shahul Hamid Noorsulthan, 44, who is a Singapore permanent resident, was jailed for two weeks on Friday (Dec 8) for making false statements in the application on Oct 14, 2008.
The offence came to light only many years later. It turned out that the three were Noorsulthan's wife's sister's children whom he had adopted. Two of them - now men aged 23 and 21 - have since completed national service. The third is a girl aged 14.
The court heard that between 2003 and 2008, while in India, Noorsulthan decided to apply for a work pass to work in Singapore. He also decided to bring his family members here and apply for PR status for all of them, These included his three adopted children. He and his wife have a daughter, now 18.
He engaged an agent in India and procured documents for the purpose of applying for PR status for himself, his wife and the four children.
He arrived in Singapore and was issued an S pass to work as a chef.
On June 11, 2008, he submitted the forms at the Permanent Resident Services Centre in Kallang Road, applying for PR status for himself, his wife and the four children.
He claimed in the form that all the children were his, by his current marriage.
The application was approved in August the same year. He and his family members were subsequently granted PR status.
But when the Permanent Resident Services Centre checked with the Singapore embassy in Chennai, India, it was discovered that the birth certificates of three of the children were not authentic.
Noorsulthan was arrested on Aug 15 this year.
Pleading for leniency, his lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said his client was remorseful and had learnt his lesson.
"A severe punishment would also throw the accused in greater hardship in view of his job status and financial position which is very much needed to support his family and all his children,'' he said.
Noorsulthan could have been fined up to $4,000 and/or jailed for up to 12 months.