13 people arrested for immigration offences

Thirteen people have been arrested for immigration-related offences that include overstaying in Singapore and employing or harbouring an immigration offender.

The seven men and six women were arrested in an operation last Thursday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a statement yesterday. Of the 13, nine of them aged between 25 and 49 had overstayed in Singapore.

The other four people are aged between 36 and 57 and include a Singaporean. They are being investigated for employing or harbouring an immigration offender.

Investigations are ongoing.

ICA said it takes a serious view of attempts to overstay, enter or depart Singapore illegally. The penalties for overstaying or illegal entry are a jail term of up to six months and a minimum of three strokes of the cane. Those found guilty of illegal departure can be jailed for up to six months and/or fined up to $2,000.

ICA advised home owners to check the status of their prospective foreign tenants to ensure that their status in Singapore is legal.

Those who wish to rent their premises to foreigners must conduct three due-diligence checks: check the tenant's original immigration or work pass; cross-check the particulars on the pass against the particulars on his original passport; and verify the validity of his pass by checking with the issuing authority.

If a home owner is found guilty of carrying out only one of the three checks or knowingly harbouring overstayers or illegal immigrants, he can be jailed between six months and two years and fined up to $6,000. Home owners convicted of carrying out only two of three checks face up to 12 months' jail and/or a fine of up to $6,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2018, with the headline '13 people arrested for immigration offences'. Print Edition | Subscribe