Singaporean imprisoned for illegally obtaining Ugandan passport

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SINGAPORE – A Singaporean man has been been arrested and sentenced to four months imprisonment over using illegally obtained Uganda passport.

It is said that Leng Choun Keong, 50 was on Thursday 16th September 2021 sentenced to four months imprisonment as he decided to return to Singapore from China using an illegally-obtained Uganda passport.

Leng Choun Keong who had left Singapore for China in 1995 didn’t renew his Singapore passport which expired in 2005. 

He also did not validate his stay in China, where he worked as a disc jockey and developed a relationship with a woman.

Leng didn’t only plead guilty to one count of producing the Uganda passport to mislead immigration officers when he arrived at Changi Airport on 8th January last year but also to two charges under the Enlistment Act for failing to return to Singapore before the expiry of an Exit Permit.

It is said that both charges were taken into consideration for his sentencing. 

The Enlistment Act charges state that he failed to fulfil his liability by failing to return to Singapore from 4 April 1998 to 7 May 2006, for seven years, seven months and four days, and another period, from 8 May 2006 to 24 November 2010, or four years, six months and 17 days, before the expiry of an Exit Permit valid from 4 April 1997 to 3 April 1998.

Leng was fined $9,000 for both Enlistment Act charges. After Leng’s Singapore passport expired in 2005 while he was in China, he failed to renew it and subsequently lost the document and didn’t even validate his stay in China where he overstayed.

In 2018, Leng decided to return to Singapore as his mother and brother were sick. As he did not have a Singapore passport, and was afraid of being punished by the Chinese authorities for overstaying, he decided to procure a passport.

He approached a friend known as “Fredrick” in China for the purpose. Leng paid a sum of US$20,000 (S$26,500) to Fredrick for the document. About a month later, Leng received the Uganda passport from Fredrick with his photo affixed on it and bearing name “Leng Christopher”, with date of birth “25 November 1969″. His nationality stated “Uganda”, and place of birth stated “Malaysia”.

Leng remained in China until January last year, when he decided to enter Singapore using the fake passport. On 8 January last year, he produced the Uganda passport to an immigration officer at the Arrival Section of Changi Airport for his arrival immigration clearance.

Court documents state that Leng was arrested by an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer at the ICA Investigation Branch on 31 May this year.