Two men jailed for impersonation, passport forgery

A Sri Lankan national posed as a Briton and produced a forged Indian passport to enter an airport departure area to board a flight heading to New Zealand, a court heard.

Yesterday, the man and the Briton he was posing as - both unemployed - were each jailed 12 months for their offences.

Vigneswararaja Kajanan, 20, admitted to deceiving a Sats customer service officer into believing that he was Keeping Mark John by producing a forged Indian passport and a Singapore Airlines boarding pass bearing Keeping’s name at Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 departure gate-hold room on Sept 8.

He also admitted to having a forged Indian passport.

Keeping, 45, pleaded guilty to intentionally aiding Kajanan to cheat by personation.

The Briton passed an SIA boarding pass for the Sri Lankan to deceive the Sats officer into allowing him to enter the gate-hold room.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jordon Li said Kajanan wanted to migrate to New Zealand from Sri Lanka and sought the help of a man called Jogarajah. On Sept 2, Jogarajah handed Kajanan a forged Indian passport bearing the name of Keeping Mark John but with Kajanan's photograph.

He told Kajanan to use the passport to enter New Zealand. Kajanan first flew to Singapore and, three days later, on Sept 8, checked in for a flight to Colombo, scheduled to leave on Sept 9. He was issued a boarding pass at the airport.

He was then instructed to go to the men's toilet in Crowne Plaza Hotel in Terminal 3 to meet "Mark" to collect a boarding pass for a flight to Auckland. He went to the toilet and met Keeping, who gave Kajanan a boarding pass for the SIA flight. He then left US$400 (S$570) in the sink for Keeping.

Keeping was arrested on Sept 9 at HarbourFront Terminal, when he tried to leave for Batam.

Kajanan and Keeping could each have been jailed for up to five years and/or fined for cheating by personation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'Two men jailed for impersonation, passport forgery'. Print Edition | Subscribe