A Malaysian and two Indonesians were arrested by the Police Coast Guard (PCG) after being caught attempting to illegally enter the country via boat on Sunday night (12 January).
In a statement, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) revealed that a 44-year old Indonesian man, a 41-year old Indo woman, and a 39-year-old Malaysian man attempted to gain entry into Singapore via a fibreglass boat with no identification numbers. The coast guard detected the boat off the coast of Changi at about 9.15 pm.
Two people were seen jumping into the water while the third person stayed on board. Shortly after, one person who jumped into the water swam back to the boat.
The PCG then intercepted the board and arrested the two Indonesians who were on board. The Malaysian boatman was later arrested in the vicinity of the sea off the Eastern Bouy.
SPF noted in its statement that preliminary investigations showed that the two Indonesians were planning to enter Malaysia illegally via the boat steered by the Malaysian when they were arrested by Singapore authorities. They were hoping to seek employment in Malaysia.
For entering Singapore unlawfully, the trio were arrested under the Immigration Act. The Malaysian is also being investigated for engaging in the business of ferrying illegal immigrants into Singapore.
If convicted, they could be imprisoned for up to six months and receive at least three strokes of the cane.
On the charge of smuggling illegal immigrants into the country, if convicted, the culprit could be imprisoned for two to five years and receive at least three strokes of the cane.
The three people who were arrested on Sunday will be charged in Court today.
Said PCG Commander and Senior Assistant Commissioner Cheang Keng Keong in the statement, “PCG does not tolerate and illegal activities in Singapore waters.”
“PCG will continue to work closely with other agencies to safeguard our waters and sea borders against crime and security threats, including unauthorised entry into and departure from Singapore.”
In February last year, two Indonesians aged 21 and 16 were arrested for attempting to enter the country illegally via a wooden boat.
They were intercepted by the PCG in the waters off east coast part at around 10.46 pm on 10 February 2019.
The 21-year-old was sentenced to six weeks in jail and four strokes of the cane while the 16-year-old was given a stern warning in lieu of prosecution.
At the Woodlands Checkpoint, ICA officers stopped a departing Malaysia-registered car driven by a 42-year-old Malaysian woman for checks. The car also carried another female Malaysian passenger. During the checks, a third woman without any travel or identification documents hiding in the boot.
Investigations revealed the illegal passenger to be a Myanmar national.
ICA said that the four Malaysians, aged between 29 and 42, were charged on 2 March 2019 for the offence of engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants out of Singapore. The Myanmar national was also charged for illegal entry and attempted illegal departure offences.