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Beautician from Macau fined $1,000 for entering Changi Airport transit area to make GST claim for Rolex watch

Beautician from Macau fined $1,000 for entering Changi Airport transit area to make GST claim for Rolex watch

SINGAPORE — A beautician from Macau working in Singapore entered Changi Airport’s transit area with a one-way ticket to Kuala Lumpur – but with no intention to board the flight, a court heard.

Cheong Lai Lei, 42, simply wanted to make a GST refund claim for her boyfriend’s $12,570 Rolex watch.

Unbeknownst to her, foreigners working here are not entitled to GST refunds.

When she wanted to leave the transit area, she lied to an immigration officer, saying she had bought the flight ticket because she had quarrelled with her boyfriend, but reconciled with him and no longer wished to fly off.

At the State Courts on Friday (4 October), Cheong was fined the maximum $1,000 after she pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to comply with directions by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority in a Protected Place.

Another charge of giving false information to a public servant was considered in sentencing.