Duo 'enter Changi transit area just to buy iPhone 7'
THEY apparently wanted to beat the queues for Apple's new iPhone when the device became available in Singapore last Friday.
So the couple bought budget airline tickets to Malaysia - without any intention of using them - in order to enter Changi Airport's transit area to buy the iPhone 7 from a store there.
They got their phones but the 26-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were later arrested by police for allegedly misusing their boarding passes to enter the transit area.
Revealing the case yesterday on its Facebook page, the Singapore Police Force said the pair had "no intention to depart Singapore" and that investigations against the suspects are ongoing.
Under the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act, offenders may be prosecuted in court and, if convicted, fined $1,000 or jailed for two years, or both.
While the police did not identify the duo, one is believed to be a Singaporean and the other a permanent resident.
It is understood that after entering the transit area and buying their iPhones, the couple proceeded to the arrival and immigration hall.
They apparently told airport staff that they wanted to remove themselves from another departing flight the airline had transferred them on, as they had missed the earlier one.
They did not have any check-in luggage with them.
Airport staff then referred them to the authorities, who subsequently questioned and arrested them.
Since January, the police have arrested 15 people for misusing their boarding passes to enter the transit area at the airport.
Sources said these are often people who want to send off relatives or meet celebrities passing through Singapore.
"The transit areas of Changi Airport are gazetted as Protected Places," said the police on Facebook, adding that passengers who enter the transit hall with a boarding pass should be there only for the purpose of travelling.
Passengers who check in for their flights but do not show up can cause a delay, said aviation experts.
For instance, airline staff will check the plane's manifest of passengers so missing people may result in a hold-up.