Singapore, Jun 11 (PTI) A 37-year-old Indian national was sentenced to jail for over nine months on Friday for harbouring an immigration offender and perverting the course of justice by asking another man to lie to immigration officials when questioned, according to a media report.
Paramasivam Seeman was jailed for 9 months and 2 weeks for his offences, the Channel News Asia reported.
He had deceived a friend into signing a tenancy agreement as the main tenant of a unit at Rowell Road in the Little India precinct, said the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in the news report.
His friend, who did not live in the unit, was misled to think that the tenancy agreement was for another unit at Buffalo Road, also within the same vicinity, and signed the document without reading it.
Paramasivam then rented the place to his colleagues and collected rent from them to earn extra income, said the ICA.
One of the tenants was Sri Lankan national Abdul Cadeer Naina, who had overstayed in Singapore for a period of 150 days after the expiry of his visit pass.
The Sri Lankan national did not offer to show any identification documents to Paramasivam when he sublet a bed space in the unit, according to the news channel.
Paramasivam also did not ask for any documents to verify if the man's stay in Singapore was valid, it added.
Abdul Cadeer Naina was arrested at the unit on June 30 last year, when ICA officers conducted their checks.
When the main tenant was interviewed by ICA officers, he told them that Paramasivam had asked him to provide a false statement and coached him on how to respond to the officers' questions.
Instead, the main tenant 'ignored Paramasivam’s request and provided a factual account of the events', ICA said.
The immigration authority said Paramasivam had not exercised due diligence by carrying out checks required by law before allowing the Sri Lankan national to stay at the unit.
'He had committed an offence of harbouring immigration offenders with reckless disregard under the Immigration Act,' the ICA said.
For overstaying his visa, Abdul Cadeer Naina was sentenced in July last year to one months' jail and three strokes of the cane.
As for the main tenant, he was 'administered with verbal advisories' after ICA determined that the unit was sublet by Paramasivam without his knowledge.
'The ICA takes a firm stance against any person who harbours immigration offenders,' the authority said.
'Those who wish to rent their premises must exercise due diligence in checking the status of their prospective foreign tenants to ensure that their status in Singapore is legal.' PTI GS IND