Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Arrest warrant issued for man who punched SMRT staff, tried to leave Singapore using brother’s passport

SINGAPORE — A district court on Wednesday (Feb 23) ordered the arrest of a 29-year-old man who failed to turn up for his sentencing, after he pleaded guilty to assaulting an SMRT station manager in 2018.

The court heard that Eugene Wee He Tian tried to use his brother's passport to leave Singapore but was caught at Woodlands Checkpoint.
The court heard that Eugene Wee He Tian tried to use his brother's passport to leave Singapore but was caught at Woodlands Checkpoint.
  • Eugene Wee He Tian claimed he was ill but did not produce a valid certificate to excuse his absence from court
  • A judge then issued a warrant to arrest the 29-year-old
  • Wee was due to be sentenced after he admitted to assaulting an SMRT station manager
  • He also admitted that he used his brother’s passport to try to leave the country through Woodlands Checkpoint

SINGAPORE — A district court on Wednesday (Feb 23) ordered the arrest of a 29-year-old man who failed to turn up for his sentencing, after he pleaded guilty to assaulting an SMRT station manager in 2018.

Eugene Wee He Tian was also guilty of trying to use his older brother’s passport to leave the country. The Singaporean was caught at Woodlands Checkpoint when his thumbprints did not match his sibling’s.

On Wednesday, District Judge Christopher Goh noted that Wee claimed he was ill but had not produced a valid medical certificate. The judge then issued an arrest warrant and revoked his bail.

Wee admitted last year to one count each of voluntarily causing hurt and improper use of a Singapore passport.

His first offence occurred on Sept 17, 2018 when Mr Lee See Teck, then an SMRT station manager at Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, spotted him tailgating another passenger in an attempt to get through a fare gate without paying.

Wee's EZ-Link card contained just two cents in value at the time.

He then took the escalator down to an MRT platform located on a lower floor. Mr Lee followed him and asked for his EZ-Link card to verify if he had paid the requisite passenger fare, but Wee repeatedly refused to do so.

Mr Lee then asked him to follow him to the station’s passenger service centre, but Wee refused again.

When Mr Lee grabbed Wee’s backpack to prevent him from fleeing, they scuffled briefly as Wee physically resisted the older man’s attempts to take him to the passenger service centre. Other transit security officers then went to help Mr Lee.

After Wee was taken to the passenger service centre, he hit the back of Mr Lee’s head.

Mr Lee sought medical treatment later that evening where a doctor noted that his ear was reddish-pink and he had suffered some fresh superficial scratches on his elbows. She then gave him one day of medical leave.

CHANGED BROTHER'S NAME IN PHONE TO 'DADDY'

Nearly a year passed before Wee broke the law once more.

On Sept 20, 2019, he took his brother Ernest’s passport from an unlocked drawer in his room. He then booked a private-hire car under his sibling’s name with the destination being City Square Mall in Johor Baru, Malaysia.

Court documents did not reveal Wee’s intention in leaving Singapore. His brother had not consented to or known about him taking the passport.

A Malaysian driver who worked for a transportation company then met him, having been dispatched to handle his booking. The driver then drove him to Woodlands Checkpoint for immigration clearance to Malaysia.

When they got there, a checkpoint inspector with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) asked him for his passport. Wee then gave her his brother’s.

The inspector noted that the face on the passport did not match Wee’s and asked if he had lost weight while fulfilling his National Service obligations. Wee nodded his head in response.

Court documents showed that he also produced his brother’s identity card.

He then followed the inspector’s instructions to scan his thumbprints on a BioScreen device in order to verify his identity. However, the device detected that his prints did not match his brother’s in the ICA’s internal database.

Wee was asked to go to a separate office for further verification checks.

There, he changed the name of his brother’s contact on his mobile phone to “Daddy”. He then contacted his brother over WhatsApp in order to answer questions from ICA officers about his travel history.

The court heard that he had changed his sibling's contact name in a bid to deflect suspicion, as it would not make sense for him to be speaking to the man whose identity he was assuming.

Wee was then asked to scan his thumbprints on ICA’s mobile automated verification and identification system, where his true identity was revealed.

Those who use someone else’s passport to travel can be jailed for up to 10 years or fined up to S$10,000, or punished with both.

Those who voluntarily cause hurt can be jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$5,000, or both.

Related topics

court crime assault passport MRT station ICA Woodlands Checkpoint

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.