Singapore

Underage clubbers using sophisticated means to gain entry

Misuse of IC, fake entry stamps among methods used

He used to sneak into clubs because he did not meet the minimum age of 18, but Mark (not his real name), now 20, still does it for the thrill, bypassing entry fees of $25 to $35.

Last month, he "smuggled" himself into a nightclub via its back door by heading to its smoking area, befriending other partygoers and following them back in without paying.

Mark said he has entered, or helped others enter, clubs without paying around 20 times since 2015, and he has used a friend's identification to forge entry too.

The research and development associate, who earns about $2,000 a month, said: "I used to do it because I was underage, but why pay when you can go in for free?"

Misuse of identification, changing birth dates on identity cards or faking entry stamps are the most common methods used to forge entry into clubs, said nightclub operators. But some means have become more sophisticated and organised, as young people have more ready access to substances such as UV inks - used for entry stamps - and to services online that allow them to fabricate stamps, they added.

Last Wednesday, police said 10 teens were being investigated for three cases of forgery.

In one case, stamps of an outlet were believed to have been illegally made, sold and used. In others, genuine stamps were said to have been duplicated and transferred among suspects via skin contact.

Mr Daniel Cheng, managing director of Get Juiced - one of the outlets involved in the incident - said forging an entry pass is often used to bypass age requirement checks and avoid paying the cover charge.

He said the Clarke Quay club sees four to five people trying to sneak in nightly on average.

Besides transferring the stamp to another's hand or wrist while the ink is wet, some enter in a group when the club is busy and hope that security misses out on checking if they have a stamp, he said. While some may create a fake stamp, it is less common, he added.

f.Club, another outlet in Clarke Quay, saw a "significant increase" in cases of forged entry this year, said managing director Volkan Gumus.

There has also been an increase in cases involving the misuse of identity cards and fake identity cards, with methods becoming "more professional and organised", he said.

It is an offence to use another person's identity card to pose as that person, said lawyer Amolat Singh. If found guilty of forgery for the purpose of cheating, an offender can be fined and jailed for up to 10 years.

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