Channel NewsAsia

Number of people harbouring immigration offenders triples

There were fewer immigration offenders arrested last year than in 2012, but the number of harbourers tripled, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a report on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE: There were fewer immigration offenders arrested last year than in 2012, but the number of harbourers tripled, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a report on Wednesday.

The authority said it cleared about 203 million travellers last year, an increase of about 3.6 per cent compared to 2012.

The number of immigration offenders arrested has been declining since 2001, and the trend continued last year, falling by 2 per cent -- from 2,580 in 2012 to 2,530 in 2013.

The number of harbourers of offenders arrested in 2013, however, spiked from 77 in 2012 to 233 last year.

Similarly, more employers of immigration offenders were arrested -- 97 last year, up from 41 in 2012.

The ICA said one of the key reasons for the sharp increase is its taking over of all the investigative and associated functions for harbouring and illegal employment cases from the police since 1 July 2012.

This transfer, the authority said, enables it to have better oversight of the enforcement of all immigration-related offences and has also led to better synergies and efficiency in tackling immigration offences.

The number of contraband smuggling cases detected also increased, from 80,200 in 2012 to 99,700 last year.  

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna