Lovesick wife sneaks into S'pore illegally

This story was first published in The Straits Times on Aug 17, 2013

A WOMAN who could not bear to be apart from her husband sneaked into Singapore illegally and visited him in jail.

Vietnamese national Nguyen Thi Mai Phuc paid nearly $2,000 to people smugglers, who hid her in a lorry and cargo container.

But the 27-year-old is now preparing to start a jail term of her own after being handed a one-year sentence.

Phuc was deported from Singapore in 2010 after overstaying her visa, the court heard.

Her husband then came here to work illegally.

The couple lost contact and Phuc decided to come and find him.

She paid US$1,500 (S$1,910) to a people smuggler known as Ah Tin, who arranged for her to travel through Cambodia and Thailand hidden in a lorry.

She then crossed from Malaysia by road in a cargo container.

Once in Singapore, Phuc paid fortnightly visits to her husband, who had been jailed for 11/2 years for immigration and customs offences.

But she was arrested in April this year at the Goldkist Beach Resort in East Coast Parkway.

The Vietnamese national pleaded guilty to entering Singapore illegally.

She was joined in court yesterday by her five-year-old daughter, who flew in from their homeland with a relative.

Phuc will get to see her husband in prison on Sept 2, after defence lawyer Choo Si Sen asked the court to allow the visit on "very humanitarian and compassionate grounds".

She is due to start her jail term the next day.

The maximum penalty for entering Singapore illegally is three years in jail and a $6,000 fine.

This story was first published in The Straits Times on Aug 17, 2013To subscribe to The Straits Times, please go to