46 illegal immigrants caught trying to enter by sea last year

PIBs in demonstration.
PIBs in demonstration. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
The newly launched patrol interdiction boat.
The newly launched patrol interdiction boat.PHOTO: HOME TEAM NEWS / MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

SINGAPORE - The marine police caught 46 illegal immigrants and stopped more than 7,000 suspicious vessels from entering into Singapore's waters last year.

Such sea crimes are increasingly sophisticated and well-organised, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Tuesday at the launch of two new police boats, where he revealed the statistics.

"They now employ decoys and camouflage, conduct reconnaissance, and use faster boats that attempt to breach our maritime defence or make dangerous manoeuvres to evade arrest," Mr Teo, who is also Minister for Home Affairs, added.

Hence, it remains important that the Police Coast Guard stays ahead of these worrying trends, he said.

At the event, Mr Teo launched two new boats - a patrol interdiction boat (PIB) and a second generation PK class high speed interceptor - to ensure that the sea police remains well-equipped.

The sleek, new boats, which are faster and more aggressive than the current ones, will enable the police to "intercept and deal more decisively with intruding boats which are becoming faster and better equipped" before they reach Singapore's shores.

By February next year, 11 PIBs and six second generation PK class high speed interceptors will be added to the PCG's current fleet.