SINGAPORE: Four Malaysians were charged on Saturday (Mar 2) after they attempted to smuggle a woman out of Singapore through Woodlands Checkpoint last month, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Monday.
ICA officers found the woman in the boot of a Malaysia-registered car when they stopped the vehicle for checks at about 7.45pm on Feb 28. The car was being driven by a 42-year-old Malaysian woman and had another female passenger.
The third woman, a Myanmar national, did not have any travel or identification documents on her and was later charged for illegal entry and attempted illegal departure offences.
ICA officers also noticed another Malaysia-registered car idling at the post-immigration area of the checkpoint, with its engine still running.
They activated a lockdown of the checkpoint at about 8.05pm as they suspected that those in the car were involved with the people in the first car and that they might try to escape.
The lockdown was lifted at 8.10pm once the male driver and the female passenger of the idling car had been secured.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the drivers and passengers of both cars, who were all Malaysians, were in cahoots.
“They were immediately placed under arrest together with the woman found hiding in the car boot,” ICA said.
The four Malaysians were aged between 29 and 42.
Under the Immigration Act, those found guilty of illegal entry may face up to six months’ jail and a minimum of three strokes of the cane.
The penalty for illegal departure is six months' jail, a fine of up to S$1,000 or both.
Anyone convicted of engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants out of Singapore will face two to five years in jail and a minimum of three strokes of the cane.
The vehicles used in such offences are also liable to be forfeited.