Jail for ERP cheater who modified the registration of a motorcycle

SINGAPORE: To evade Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges, a woman altered one of her motorcycle’s license plates.

With the positions of two numbers on the motorcycle’s rear license plate changed, he committed 68 ERP-related offenses and five illegal parking offenses between October 2019 and February 2020, according to Land Transport Authority (LTA) records.

The woman, Malaysian Deivanai Karunanithi, 28, was sentenced to three weeks in jail on May 10, according to a court document obtained by CNA on Thursday (May 23).

This is the first case where LTA has charged an individual with using a foreign-registered vehicle with a false license plate to avoid detection of illegal activities.

Deivanai’s crimes came to light on Feb. 21, 2020, when an LTA officer saw different numbers on the front and rear license plates of his motorcycle while it was parked next to a light pole along Bayfront Avenue, he said. LTA prosecutor Darren Toh in the document.

Its front plate displayed the number “JTH1825”, while its rear plate bore the number “JTH8125”.

The officer checked the number on the back of the motorcycle in the LTA system and found no record of any vehicle with that number.

The officer then checked the number on the front of the vehicle and found that it was registered in the LTA system using that number.

“As the said motorcycle displayed inconsistent identification marks, the motorcycle was towed and impounded for investigations,” Mr Toh said.

Investigations revealed that the motorcycle belonged to Deivanai, who at the time had a work permit and was working as a security officer.

Toh said he would travel from Malaysia to Singapore using the motorcycle with its correct number, JTH1825, displayed on both the front and rear.

However, after entering Singapore and reaching the Bukit Timah Expressway, he would swap the “1” and “8” on the motorcycle’s rear license plate so that it read “JTH8125” instead.

Deivani did this on 14 occasions between October 2019 and November 2019, Toh said. She admitted to doing this to evade ERP charges.

She was convicted of 14 counts of failing to ensure that the identification mark of a vehicle was displayed on the rear of the vehicle in accordance with Singapore traffic regulations.

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