Channel NewsAsia

Alleged MFA trespasser entered Singapore illegally on Jan 17

Police arrested a 27-year-old Malaysian woman on Monday at the compound of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for criminal trespass.

SINGAPORE: Police arrested a 27-year-old Malaysian woman on Monday at the compound of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for criminal trespass.

The woman is also being investigated for evading immigration clearance. 

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the police said the woman has a history of mental illness.

With the assistance of the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore and the Malaysian police, ICA and the police have contacted the woman's next-of-kin in Malaysia, and they are on their way to Singapore to assist with investigations.

The statement said the woman is under police custody, and investigations are on-going.

According to preliminary investigations, the woman entered Singapore in a Malaysian-registered car on January 17 through the Woodlands Checkpoint at about 1.58pm.

She left the checkpoint at 2pm.

The authorities said the woman had managed to leave the checkpoint without being stopped as the officers-in-charge did not immediately raise the alarm.

By the time the alarm was raised two minutes later, the car could not be located despite an immediate lockdown of the arrival car zone.

Three days later, as earlier reported online by Channel NewsAsia, the woman headed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Sherwood Road, where she apparently tail-gated a car to enter the premises.

ICA said it takes the case very seriously as it concerns Singapore's border security.

It is reviewing security systems and work processes at the checkpoints.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean expressed his dissatisfaction over the security breach as well as the subsequent response actions.

He said there could have been "more serious consequences than what occurred".

Mr Teo, who is also Minister for Home Affairs, said the incident should have been prevented and dealt with more urgently and decisively.

He added that he has directed both the Police and the ICA to give him a report on “the corrective actions they are taking, and recommend appropriate action to be taken against officers who have not discharged their duties properly".

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