Jail Term for Schemer for Forging and Using Counterfeit Stamp Certificates

12 Feb 2016

Sim Tee Peng (“Sim”), 39 years old, was convicted in court for one charge of counterfeiting a stamp certificate and two charges of forging and using another two counterfeit stamp certificates for property transactions.  Through his use of the counterfeit stamp certificates and his representations to various buyers and their agents, he collected close to $100,000 of stamp duties without accounting these monies to the Commissioner of Stamp Duties.

Sim was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail for his offences under the Stamp Duties Act, which runs consecutively with the sentences for his other charges under the Penal Code, the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, the Legal Profession Act, and the Road Traffic Act. He was sentenced to seven years and five months’ jail for the charges in total.

Scheme Discovered by IRAS’ Forensics

Sim’s scheme was first discovered when the buyer for one of the property transactions presented to IRAS a stamp certificate forged by Sim. IRAS used its forensic tools in its investigations and discovered that Sim had created three counterfeit stamp certificates for the sale and purchase of three properties – 183 Tanjong Rhu Road, 77 Indus Road and 92 Punggol Drive.

Sim was helping out at a law firm which handled conveyancing transactions from June 2011 to February 2012 when he had used genuine stamp certificates that were supposed to be for other properties to create the counterfeit stamp certificates.

Crime to Forge and Use Counterfeit Stamp Certificates

Stamp duty is paid on documents or agreements relating to properties. These include tenancy or lease agreements, options to purchase, and sale and purchase agreements. A stamp certificate is issued to certify that a certain amount of stamp duty relating to the document or agreement has been paid. Each stamp certificate will be printed with a Unique Document Reference Number.

IRAS takes a very serious view of any individual or business that deliberately forges stamp certificates and knowingly misrepresents counterfeit "certificates" as genuine. Such persons shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.

Online Check on Stamp Certificate Authenticity

IRAS reminds potential tenants and property buyers to check the authenticity of the stamp certificates in their possession by visiting the e-Stamping website, https://estamping.iras.gov.sg (Stamp Duty Resource > Check Stamp Certificate Authenticity). An authentic stamp certificate should bear the full details of the stamp duty payment, description of the document, address of the property, stamp duty amount, and date of document. All these details should also match the information shown on the e-Stamping website. 

If the stamp certificate appears dubious or incomplete, please contact IRAS to verify the authenticity of the stamp certificate.

Reporting of Malpractices

Businesses or individuals are encouraged to immediately disclose any past mistakes. IRAS will treat such disclosures as mitigating factors when considering action to be taken. Those who wish to disclose past mistakes or wish to report malpractices or potential abuses of the PIC scheme can write to:
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
Investigation & Forensics Division
55 Newton Road, Revenue House
Singapore 307987
Email: ifd@iras.gov.sg

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore