Indonesian fugitive repeatedly entered Singapore with fake passport

<p>The entrance to Seletar Airport. (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore / Dhany Osman) </p>
The entrance to Seletar Airport. (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore / Dhany Osman)

SINGAPORE — A businessman wanted by the authorities in Indonesia for graft repeatedly travelled to Singapore between 2017 and 2018 using a bogus passport bearing another person's name, a court heard.

Adelin Lis was finally arrested at Changi Airport while trying to leave the country using the fake passport in May 2018.

At the State Courts last Wednesday (9 June), the 63-year-old Indonesian fugitive was fined $14,000, having earlier in April pleaded guilty to four out of 15 charges under the Immigration Act.

The remaining counts were considered in sentencing as part of his plea bargain.

Adelin paid the fine in two tranches last week and on Wednesday (16 June).

About the case

According to prosecution documents made available to Yahoo News Singapore by the Attorney-General's Chambers on Thursday, Adelin obtained Singapore permanent residency in December 2002. But he did not renew his re-entry permit as a permanent resident after it expired in December 2007 and so his PR status lapsed.

While he was still a Singapore PR, the businessman made 14 trips to Singapore, entering and departing the country a total of 28 times via Changi Airport between April 2005 and September 2006. He used his real passport on each trip.

According to a report in the Jakarta Post, Adelin was sentenced to 10 years' jail by the Indonesian Supreme Court in August 2008 for corruption and illegal logging in North Sumatra.

He has been on the wanted list of the North Sumatra Prosecutor's Office since July 2012, the Jakarta Post report dated 23 July 2019 said.

According to the court documents by Singapore prosecutors, Adelin was arrested by immigration officers at Changi Airport's Terminal 3 departure hall on 8 May 2018.

He was trying to leave the country with an Indonesian passport bearing the name of "Hendro Leonardi". The passport also stated Hendro's age to be three years younger than Adelin.

Investigations revealed that the fugitive obtained the passport in 2008 and used it to successfully travel to and from Singapore several times between July 2017 and 2018.

He entered Singapore on 20 July 2017 via Seletar Airport, and again on 26 October 2017, 11 February 2018 and 16 May 2018 via Changi Airport.

Each time he arrived, he obtained a 30-day Visit Pass by falsely declaring in his Disembarkation Form that he had never used a passport under a different name to enter the country.

He departed Singapore on 24 July 2017, 2 November 2017 and 20 February 2018 via Changi Airport.

But while trying to leave the country via Terminal 3 on 28 May 2018, Adelin's ruse fell apart and he was arrested.

Court documents did not state how his cover was blown and his real identity established.

In reply to queries by Yahoo News Singapore, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said the Indonesian embassy had offered to repatriate Adelin via private air transport on Wednesday.

"However, ICA had declined this arrangement as the repatriation of all undesirable foreigners is independently conducted by Singapore authorities. In accordance with ICA’s established procedure, Adelin Lis will be repatriated to his country of origin as soon as his commercial flight arrangement is confirmed," it added.

For each of Adelin's four proceeded charges of making a false statement to obtain an entry pass, he could have been fined up to $4,000 and/or jailed up to a year.

The penalty for producing a false document to an immigration officer is a fine of up to $6,000 and/or a jail term of up to two years.

The punishment for entering Singapore without a valid pass which has been lawfully issued is a jail term of up to six months with at least three strokes of the cane for male offenders below 50. Those found unsuitable for caning face a fine of up to $6,000 in lieu of caning.

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