The Myanmar national hiding in the boot of a car (Source: ICA).

Four Malaysians arrested for attempting to smuggle a woman out of Singapore illegally

A woman was found hiding in the car boot during checks at Woodlands Checkpoint on Thursday (28 February) at around 7.45 pm.

In a press release on Monday (4 March), the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) stated that its  officers stopped a departing Malaysia-registered car for checks, which was driven by a 42-year-old Malaysian woman and carried another female Malaysian passenger.

While performing checks, the third woman, who did not have any travel or identification document in her possession, was found hiding in the car boot.

The Myanmar national hiding in the boot of a car (Source: ICA).

In the midst of investigating the detection, ICA said that its officers noticed another Malaysia-registered car at the post-immigration area, with its engine still running.

Suspecting that the idling car was involved with the one hiding the fugitive and might attempt to escape, the vigilant officers swiftly activated a lockdown of the checkpoint at 8.03 pm.

According to the authority, the lockdown was lifted at 8.10pm once the male driver and the female passenger of the idling car had been secured.

It stated that preliminary investigations revealed that the drivers and passengers of both cars, who were all Malaysians, were in cahoots. They were both then immediately placed under arrest together with the woman found hiding in the car boot. The illegal passenger was established to be a Myanmar national.

The idling car involved in the case (Source: ICA).

ICA said that the four Malaysians, aged between 29 and 42, were charged on 2 March 2019 for the offence of engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants out of Singapore. The Myanmar national was also charged for illegal entry and attempted illegal departure offences.

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

Under the Immigration Act (Cap 133), 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.

For engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants out of Singapore, offenders will face a jail term of between two to five years and a minimum of three strokes of the cane. The vehicles used in such offences are liable to be forfeited.