4 charged over alleged bid to sneak woman out of Singapore

Four Malaysians were charged over an alleged attempt to smuggle a Myanmar woman from Singapore into Malaysia in the boot of a car.

The Myanmar national, who did not have any travel or identification documents, was discovered by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers who checked the car at Woodlands Checkpoint around 7.45pm last Thursday.

Two Malaysian women, including the 42-year-old driver, were in the car.

ICA officers noticed another Malaysia-registered car at the post-immigration area with its engine still running and suspected that it was involved with the car hiding the woman.

They locked down the checkpoint just after 8pm and the idling car's male driver and female passenger were later escorted away by ICA officers for investigation.

Preliminary findings by the ICA revealed that the two drivers and two passengers from both cars were in cahoots.

They were arrested along with the Myanmar woman.

The four Malaysians, aged between 29 and 42, were charged on Saturday with engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants out of Singapore.

The ICA, which released details of the incident yesterday, said the Myanmar national was charged with illegal entry and attempted illegal departure offences.

Under the Immigration Act, the penalties for illegal entry are a jail term of up to six months and a minimum of three strokes of the cane, while penalties for illegal departure are a fine of up to $1,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

Women, however, cannot be caned.

For engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants out of Singapore, offenders will face a jail term of two to five years and a minimum of three strokes of the cane.

Vehicles used in such offences can be forfeited.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2019, with the headline '4 charged over alleged bid to sneak woman out of S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe