SINGAPORE - Four Malaysians were foiled in their attempt to smuggle a Myanmar national out of Singapore last Thursday (Feb 28), said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
ICA officers had stopped a departing Malaysia-registered car for checks at the Woodlands Checkpoint at around 7.45pm, said the ICA in a statement on Monday.
The car was driven by a 42-year-old Malaysian woman and had another female Malaysian passenger.
The ICA officers found a third woman, a Myanmar national, hiding in the car boot during checks.
She did not have any travel or identification document in her possession.
While investigating the car, ICA officers noticed another Malaysia-registered car at the post-immigration area, with its engine still running, said the statement.
Suspecting that the idling car was involved with the one hiding the fugitive, and that it might try to escape, the ICA officers activated a lockdown of the checkpoint at 8.03pm.
The lockdown was lifted at 8.10pm after the male driver and female passenger of the second car were escorted away by ICA officers for investigation.
Preliminary findings by the ICA found that the two drivers and two passengers from both cars were in cahoots.
They were immediately arrested, along with the woman who was hiding in the car boot.
The four Malaysians, aged between 29 and 42, were charged last Saturday over engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants out of Singapore.
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.
The vehicles used in such offences can be forfeited.