Teen sees doctor for free with fake SIA staff card

PHOTO: Teen sees doctor for free with fake SIA staff card

SINGAPORE - He's an aviation enthusiast who loves all things to do with flying.

Muhammad Shazni Kamarudin, 19, an aerospace technology student at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), also happened to be friends with a SilkAir stewardess.

From her, he learnt what a Singapore Airlines staff card looked like.

And with that knowledge, he created a fake SIA staff card with his name on it.

He then used the card to get free medical treatment.

On his fifth attempt, he was caught.

Last Monday, he pleaded guilty and was convicted on one count of forgery and two counts of cheating.

He admitted to three similar charges, which will betaken into consideration during sentencing nextmonth.

The court heard that some time between June and November 2009, Muhammad Shazni created a card similar to an SIA identification card using Photoshop software on his computer.

He then paid $5 at a printing shop on North Bridge Road for the card to be printed out from a softcopy file in his thumbdrive.

He had learnt from his stewardess friend that SIAstaff could receive free medical treatment from Raffles Medical Group clinics.

So on four occasions in June last year, he tried his luck posing as an SIA crew member at clinics operated by Raffles Medical Group at Changi Airport.

Cheating spree

Cheating spree

One such attempt was on June 5, when he went to the clinic at Terminal 3 and was treated for giddiness.

As he presented the forged staff card, he didn't have to pay for the medical treatment, which cost $48.36.

Another offence took place two days later, when he returned to the clinic to receive treatment for a respiratory tract infection and a one-day medical certificate.

The cost of the treatment, which he again didn't have to pay for, was $38.52.

His cheating spree came to an end only when he was caught on June 10.

An employee at the clinic in Terminal 2 felt suspicious when she saw the fake card and called a Singapore Airport Terminal Service auxiliary police officer to verify his identity.

Muhammad Shazni was arrested and the card wasseized.

In his mitigation, his lawyer, Mr Abraham Vergis of Drew & Napier, who is taking on the case for free under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, said his client isan only child whose childhood dream was to be apilot.

"It was this love of flying and (his) desire to feel part of an elite group of persons, coupled with his low self-esteem...that led him to design the crew member card," said Mr Vergis.

"He felt that if he was a pilot, people would look up to him. (But) temptation got the better of him and he decided to try out the card to see if it actually worked... His was actually a misguided attempt to seek validation of his efforts in designing the card."

For forgery, Muhammad Shazni can be jailed fouryears and fined.

For cheating, he can be jailed three years and fined on each charge.

This article was first published in The New Paper.