Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has announced that in the whole year of 2016, it had arrested 1,278 immigration offenders (IOs) and 351 harbourers and employers of IOs, adding that 88,050 contraband cases were detected at the checkpoints and 43 persons were convicted for marriage of convenience offences.
ICA said that the arrest of the IOs was decreased from 1,901 IOs to 1,278 IOs, noting that illegal immigrants arrested dropped 30 percent from 310 in 2015 to 217 in 2015. It also said that the number of overstayers arrested was 1,061 in 2016, a drop of 33 percent compared to the 1,591 overstayers arrested in 2015.
There were 351 harbourers and employers of IOs arrested in 2016. The numbers of harbourers arrested decreased by 26 percent, from 416 in 2015 to 306 in 2016 while the number of errant employers arrested declined by 51 percent, from 91 in 2015 to 45 in 2016.
It also said that the number of contraband cases detected at the country’s checkpoints decreased by 8 percent, from 95,677 cases in 2015 to 88,050 cases in 2016.
It said that there were new ways of concealment to smuggle the contraband items in the attempt to evade detection by ICA, for example using luxury cars and common households items (such as furniture and children and play mats).
ICA said that there were 43 persons convicted for marriage of convenience offences in 2016, stating that the figure has dropped 33 percent compared to the previous year, where 64 persons were convicted.
Commissioner of ICA, Ms Clarance Yeo, said, “In this current security climate, ICA remains determined and steadfast in securing our borders. As the nation’s first line of defence, ICA will continue to conduct stringent checks on people, goods, and conveyances while enhancing border clearance through innovation, collaboration, and partnership.”
“On this note, we will continue to work hand in hand with the community to keep Singapore safe and secure,” she added.