Jailed: Man who spent 18 days in transit at Changi

raejalibinbuntutSINGAPORE: A jobless Malaysian man has been handed a two-week jail term after staying on for 18 days in transit lounges at Changi Airport.

The Straits Times reported today that Raejali Buntut overslept at an airport lounge and missed his AirAsia flight back to Kuala Lumpur on Aug 21 and decided to stay in the departure transit area.

For 18 days until last Wednesday he remained in transit by using 31 forged mobile boarding passes to enter various lounges in the airport’s terminals, said the report.

A district court heard on Friday that Raejali, 33, had checked in at close to midnight on Aug 21 and went to the Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 1, using his boarding pass and a Priority Pass issued by Citibank.

The court was not told why Raejali, a former business development manager with Royale Consultant Management in Singapore, wanted to stay at the airport.

The report said since his boarding pass was no longer valid, he decided to forge boarding passes by downloading images of mobile boarding passes issued by Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines from the Internet.

He used image editing software on his laptop computer to alter them, inserting his name, a false flight number and a false destination, before sending them to his mobile phone.

The report said he had spent his days at the Plaza Premium Lounge, the SATs Premier Lounge and the Dnata Lounge at Terminal 1, before going to the Ambassador Transit Lounge at Terminal 3.

Last Tuesday, the report said, a staff member at the Dnata Lounge called police when he attempted to enter the lounge for the fourth time.

Raejali’s sentence began from the date of his remand last Friday, the report said. He could have been jailed for up to four years and fined on the 31 charges. He pleaded guilty to three charges.