SINGAPORE: Chuang Kuan Leong (“Chuang”), a 48-year-old former assistant to a property agent, has been found guilty of counterfeiting stamp certificates on tenancy agreements relating to multiple properties between Apr and Nov 2016. Chuang was convicted of 19 charges for counterfeiting stamp certificates that led to $4,464 of stamp duties being evaded, of which, he misappropriated $2,775 of the stamp duty payable amount.
Chuang is also convicted of 2 charges for providing false statements to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) during its investigations. Investigations revealed that Chuang had lied in his statements to IRAS’ investigation officers that the stamp certificates were created by a person by the name of “Sunny” when in fact no such person exists. Chuang himself had in fact counterfeited the stamp certificates.
Chuang pleaded guilty to 19 proceeded charges under Section 64(d) of the Stamp Duties Act (Cap. 312) for counterfeiting stamp certificates. The Court sentenced him to 30 weeks of jail term and took into consideration 39 other charges of the same offence for the purpose of sentencing.
For the 2 proceeded charges under Section 65(2) of the Stamp Duties Act (Cap. 312) for furnishing of information that was false to IRAS, the Court sentenced him to 5 weeks of jail term. 4 other charges of the same offence were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.
Serious Consequences for Providing False or Misleading Information or Statement to IRAS
IRAS takes a very serious view of any individual who intentionally provides false or misleading information to IRAS in the course of investigations to deter IRAS from the proper administration of its functions. One may also be guilty of a criminal offence for providing false or misleading information to IRAS officers in the course of IRAS audits and queries. Any person found guilty of such an offence under the law shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or with both.
Serious Crime to Counterfeit Stamp Certificates and Use Counterfeit Stamp Certificates
Stamp duty is paid on documents or agreements relating to immovable properties and stock or shares. Such documents or agreements include tenancy or lease agreements, options to purchase, sale and purchase agreements and transfer instruments. A stamp certificate is issued to certify that the stamp duty relating to the document or agreement has been paid. Each stamp certificate is printed with a Unique Document Reference Number. IRAS takes a very serious view of stamp certificate forgeries and knowing misrepresentation or passing off of counterfeit “certificates” as genuine ones. Individuals or businesses engaging in such activities shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.
Online Check on Stamp Certificate Authenticity
IRAS reminds tenants, property buyers and transferees to check the authenticity of the stamp certificates in their possession by visiting the e-Stamping Portal, and selecting “Check Stamp Certificate Authenticity”. An authentic stamp certificate should bear the full details of the stamp duty payment, description of the document, date of the document and details of the property, stock or shares (whichever is applicable). All these details should also match the information shown on the e-Stamping Portal. If your stamp certificate appears dubious or incomplete, please contact IRAS to verify the authenticity of the stamp certificate.