Fewer illegal immigrants arrested, decline in contraband cases last year: ICA

Fewer illegal immigrants arrested, decline in contraband cases last year: ICA

In 2016, ICA arrested 1,278 immigration offenders and 351 harbourers and employers of these offenders.

enforcement blitz

SINGAPORE: The number of illegal immigrants arrested in Singapore dropped by 30 per cent Last year, while contraband smuggling cases dipped 8 per cent, said the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

According to its annual statistics report released on Thursday (Feb 16), 217 illegal immigrants were arrested last year, down from 310 in 2015. The number of overstayers arrested was 1,061, down 33 per cent from 1,591 the year before.

ICA immigration offences

The ICA also highlighted an incident in February last year, when four Indonesians were refused entry into Singapore. The men, including a 15-year-old boy, were believed to have been enroute to the Middle East to join the Islamic State terror group. They were subsequently handed over to the Indonesian police.

The number of harbourers arrested decreased by 26 per cent, from 416 in 2015 to 306 last year, while the number of errant employers arrested declined by 51 per cent - from 91 in 2015 to 45 in 2016, said ICA.

ICA harbourers of immigration offenders


A total of 88,050 contraband cases were detected at the land checkpoints in Singapore, down 8 per cent from 95,677 two years ago.

However, some smugglers used new ways of concealment in their attempts to evade detection, ICA said. Some used luxury cars and common household items, including furniture and children’s play mats, to smuggle illegal goods.

“These methods remain a cause for concern especially in the current security climate, as they could similarly be adopted by terrorists to smuggle dangerous materials such as weapons and explosives into Singapore,” ICA said.

ICA smuggling

A total of 1,902 cartons of contraband cigarettes were seized from a consignment declared as “decorative stools” on Dec 2, 2016. (Photos: ICA)

The number of people convicted for marriage of convenience offences fell by 33 per cent with 43 convicted, down from 64 in 2015.

ICA annual stats report infographic

Source: CNa/xk