Range of measures taken to tackle immigration offenders

We thank Mr Loong Chik Tong for his letter (Govt must continue to be tough on overstayers; Aug 8).

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) takes a serious view of such offences.

We adopt a multi-pronged approach through deterrent laws, stringent border checks as well as inland enforcement.

We regularly conduct raids (an average of more than 100 monthly) targeted at immigration offenders, harbourers and employers of immigration offenders.

We collaborate closely with agencies such as the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Manpower in our enforcement efforts.

The public can play a part by not offering employment or shelter to immigration offenders.

Home owners should exercise due diligence in checking the status of their foreign tenants, before signing or renewing their tenancy agreements. They should also check if their tenant has sublet rooms illegally.

Members of the public with information on immigration offenders can report via the ICA website or call 1800-391-6150.

Any information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Under the Immigration Act (Cap 133), the penalties for overstaying or illegal entry are a jail term of up to six months plus a minimum of three strokes of the cane.

If anyone is found guilty of recklessly or knowingly harbouring overstayers or illegal immigrants, he may be sentenced to a jail term of between six months and two years and a fine of up to $6,000.

If a person is found guilty of negligently harbouring overstayers or illegal immigrants, he may be sentenced to a jail term of up to 12 months, or a fine of up to $6,000, or both.

Patrick Ong

Head, Public & Internal Communications

Corporate Communications Division

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2018, with the headline 'Range of measures taken to tackle immigration offenders'. Print Edition | Subscribe