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Three men imprisoned for abetting illegal departure from Woodlands Checkpoint

Three men has been sentenced to jail for arranging the illegal departure of a male overstayer through Woodlands Checkpoint in February last year.

A 26-year-old male Malaysian was convicted on 23 March 2017 for engaging in a business to convey an immigration offender out of Singapore via Woodlands Checkpoint and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and three strokes of the cane.

On 14 February 2016, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers arrested Chee Tian Hao for attempting to illegally convey Md Islam Md Haris Madbar, a 32-year-old male Bangladeshi overstayer, in a Malaysia-registered saloon car out of Singapore.

According to the Authority, Md Islam was found crouching on the floor of the rear passenger seat.

It is understood that the vehicle used in the commission of the offence has been detained and is liable for forfeiture.

Following the arrest of Chee and Md Islam, ICA officers then conducted further investigations into the case and established that another male Malaysian was involved in the arrangement of the illegal departure.

On the same day, ICA said that 36-year-old Mohamed Haniffa Bin Sawulmaid was stopped at the departure bus hall of Woodlands Checkpoint and placed under arrest.

ICA officers also established a fourth person, 61-year-old male Singaporean, Jumali B Yusof, who was involved in arranging the illegal departure.

Md Islam was convicted on 15 March 2016 and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane.

Mohamed Haniffa was convicted on 28 February 2017 and sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment while Jumali was convicted on 25 November 2016 and sentenced to two years and six weeks’ imprisonment in lieu of caning.

ICA stressed that it takes a serious view of attempts to overstay, enter or depart Singapore illegally.

Under the Immigration Act (Cap 133), the penalties for overstaying or illegal entry are a jail term of up to six months plus a minimum of three strokes of the cane, while the penalties for engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants into and out of Singapore is a jail term of not less than two years and not more than five years and caning of not less than three strokes.

Source : ICA.