After giving over his boarding card and travel documentation to another individual at Changi Airport in Singapore in return for money, a former cabin crew member who is currently unemployed was sentenced to prison.
According to local press sources, Thasrathan Jegatheson, 49, received a call in February 2022 from a man he had met in 2013 while working as a cabin crew member for Malaysia Airlines.
The man offered Jegatheson whether he wanted to take part in a “work arrangement,” which entailed turning over his boarding card, passport, and personal information to another person.
Jegatheson was given $700 (MYR 3,000) and a two-day stay in Bangkok in exchange for his participation in the plan.
According to the local press, Jegatheson was aware that what was demanded of him was illegal, but obliged out of financial need.
On February 10, 2022, Jegatheson was booked on a Scoot Airlines aircraft from Kuala Lumpur to Berlin via Singapore. He acquired a boarding card for his continuing flight to Berlin when he arrived in Singapore.
Jegatheson met Mohanathas Kaniyamuthan, a 26-year-old guy who flew independently from Sri Lanka, while in transit at Changi Airport. Kaniyamuthan joined a multinational people-smuggling ring to help him get to Berlin, where he felt he would be provided better job possibilities.
He was handed a falsified passport with Jegatheson’s information on it. The only things that were modified were the photo, year of birth, identity number, and serial code.
Kaniyamuthan’s family reportedly paid an “agent” the equivalent of $9,800 to ease the smuggling process, and they would have paid the same amount again if he had made it to Berlin successfully, according to local media.
Both men were told not to speak to each other and to communicate exclusively through gestures, according to the court. Each person was given a photograph and a description of the other’s outfit.
When the two guys saw each other, they went to the men’s lavatory, where Jegatheson gave his boarding tickets and travel paperwork to the other. In exchange, Kaniyamuthan gave Jegatheson $1,000 in cash.
Jegatheson was detained by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) shortly after, preventing him from boarding the plane. The ICA officers were not informed of Kaniyamuthan’s illegal plan, according to court filings. Soon after, Jegatheson was apprehended.
Jegatheson was sentenced to four to five months in prison by the Deputy Public Prosecutor.
It is unknown or unreported what sentence Kaniyamuthan or the human trafficking syndicate’s organizers received.