Man fined $5,000 for taking friend's place in IPPT

Photo: Getty Images

A man who helped his friend complete his Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) three times over three years was fined $5,000 on Friday (28 April) in the State Courts.

Lee Rong Ci, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring with Melvin Zheng Junlong, 29, to deceive a conducting officer of the test into believing that Lee was Zheng. Lee hence dishonestly induced the officer to conduct the IPPT for him. Two other charges for his deceptions in 2014 and 2015 were taken into consideration for sentencing.

Zheng has been dealt with separately by the Ministry of Defence and was fined $5,000 for offences under the Singapore Armed Forces Act.

The deception occurred in Maju Camp, along Clementi Road, on 16 July last year. Two days before the incident, Zheng had told Lee that he was not confident of passing IPPT as he had no time for remedial training due to work.

Lee agreed to take the test on behalf of Zheng. On the day of the IPPT, Lee retrieved Zheng’s NRIC card from the electrical box outside Zheng’s unit before leaving for Maju Camp.

Lee used Zheng’s NRIC to enter and register for the IPPT. When Lee was at the push-up station, a fitness trainer who was conducting the IPPT, Alvin Toh, checked the NRIC and noticed that his appearance did not match the photo. Toh asked Lee for the NRIC number and address, but Lee could not reply.

His suspicion aroused, Toh alerted another fitness trainer, V Kovalgan, but let Lee continue with the test. Lee completed the IPPT and got a Pass, but by the time Kovalgan had discovered Lee’s ruse, Lee had already left the camp.

In mitigation, Lee’s lawyer Amos Cai said that there was “no elaborate scheme” or “premeditated conspiracy” to cheat. Lee did not gain financially and was just doing a favour for a friend, said Cai.

Lee could have been jailed for up to three years and/or fined for cheating.