First Man to be Jailed for Forging Vaccination Cert to Dine in Restaurant

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It seems that no matter what law is introduced to safeguard us during the COVID-19 pandemic, someone out there will break it.

First, individuals went outside bare-faced after mask-wearing became mandatory.

Then, individuals started breaching stay-home orders, even though the instruction is literally in the title of the notice and couldn’t be clearer.

But this lawbreaker… this lawbreaker might just take the cake.

Man Forged Vaccination Cert to Dine in Restaurant

As you know, only fully vaccinated individuals can dine in at restaurants now.

So, when you turn up at a restaurant, you’ll have to show your COVID-19 vaccination certificate as proof before you’re allowed in.

But what happens if you don’t have proof? Well, you have a couple of options:

  1. Get fully vaccinated and wait two weeks for your certificate
  2. Literally anything but forge a certificate

Simple right? But for some reason, Zhang Shaopeng chose to forge his colleague’s vaccination certificate just so he could dine-in at a restaurant.

Zhang, a Chinese national, was supposed to attend an exhibition in the United States with his colleagues, but since entry into the US had been restricted for them, they decided to travel to Singapore to stay for 14 days before heading there.

His colleagues – Cheng Lin, 32, and Chen Shuwei, 25, – both tested negative for the virus when they arrived in Singapore and were quarantined.

On 25 Aug, two days before Zhang arrived, both Cheng and Chen visited Raffles Medical Group to validate their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Both were given a doctor’s memo certifying their status after they did a blood test.

They informed Zhang that he could do the same, but, curiously, he asked for Cheng to send a him of photo of his memo instead.

You can probably guess why. 

Zhang then edited Cheng’s photo of his memo using an app on his phone, replacing Cheng’s name with his own.

Unfortunately for him, the trick didn’t work.


Caught in the Act by Restaurant Manager

Since his colleagues helped him move out of the hotel, Zhang offered to buy a meal for them on 1 Sep at Tanuki Raw, a bar and restaurant at Orchard Central.

At the time, groups of up to five fully vaccinated diners were allowed to dine-in at restaurants.

When they entered Tanuki Raw, a restaurant supervisor asked to see proof of their vaccination status.

Chen showed the doctor’s memo, while Cheng showed a photo of his memo.

When it was Zhang’s turn, he showed a photo of his vaccination certificate, issued by the Tonglu County Women and Children’s Healthcare Hospital in China.

Since it was in Chinese, he was asked to show a document that was in English and recognised by the Singapore government.


Zhang then showed the memo he had forged earlier on his phone.

The supervisor took a photo of Zhang’s photo of the memo, as well as that of Cheng’s.

The plan would have worked were it not for a restaurant manager, who later noticed that the identification number on the documents in both photos was the same. 

When asked about the forged document, Zhang said “their agent in China prepared everything including the hotel and certificate for them”.

The trio were asked to leave the restaurant, and the manager later lodged a police report.


Jailed Three Weeks

Zhang deleted all copies of the forged document from his phone, as well as Cheng’s memo, but a copy of the memo was recovered from his iCloud storage account.

Raffles Medical also confirmed that they had not issued any such memo to Zhang, and he was subsequently arrrested.

Yesterday, the 30-year-old was sentenced to three weeks in jail after pleading guilty to forgery.

He is the first person in Singapore to be convicted of forging a COVID-19 vaccination certificate to dine in at eateries.

As for whether he’ll be the last, that remains to be seen.


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