Driver arrested for attempting to smuggle man out of Singapore in luggage compartment of bus

The Malaysian driver was promised $700 by an unknown agent to successfully smuggle the man out of Singapore. PHOTO: ICA

SINGAPORE - A 37-year-old Malaysian driver was arrested after attempting to smuggle a man out of Singapore on Sunday (Oct 14).

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Monday that the driver, who was driving a Malaysia-registered bus, had looked visibly nervous when he was stopped for checks at the Tuas Checkpoint at about 9.20pm.

Officers conducted thorough checks of the bus after sensing something was amiss, and found a man hiding in the luggage compartment.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the illegal passenger is a 25-year-old male Indian national who is due to appear in court for another case.

The driver was promised $700 by an unknown agent to successfully smuggle the man out of Singapore, said ICA.

Both the driver and the passenger are expected to be charged in court on Tuesday.

Anyone convicted of overstaying or illegal entry can be jailed for up to six months and face a minimum of three strokes of the cane.

Meanwhile, anyone convicted of illegal departure can be fined up to $2,000 and be jailed for up to six months.

ICA said it takes a serious view of attempts by foreigners to enter or depart Singapore illegally, or those who attempt to overstay in the country.

The authority added that Singapore's borders are the first line of defence in safeguarding the country's security, and that it will continue to conduct security checks at the checkpoints to prevent smuggling attempts.

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