Driver arrested after abandoning lorry at Woodlands Checkpoint causing massive jam

Driver arrested after abandoning lorry at Woodlands Checkpoint causing massive jam

Woodlands Checkpoint jam Jul 5
One person was taken to hospital after an incident at Woodlands Checkpoint. (Photo: Channel NewsAsia reader)

SINGAPORE: A 31-year-old Malaysian lorry driver was arrested on Friday (Jul 6) after he abandoned his vehicle at a cargo checking bay early Thursday morning, causing traffic at Woodlands Checkpoint to come to a standstill.

After he had cleared immigration, Asrul Nizam Jamil, got out of his lorry at about 2.50am on Thursday while his vehicle was being subjected to further checks, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia.

Asrul Nizam
A photo of Asrul Nizam Jamil, provided by the Singapore Police Force. 

Checkpoint operations were temporarily suspended to locate the driver.

ICA officers subsequently found approximately 5,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in the lorry.

Investigations following his arrest are ongoing, said ICA.

In a Facebook post at about 5am, the ICA warned of delays at the checkpoint as it is implementing "enhanced checks" due to "an ongoing operation".

In an update about an hour later, the ICA warned of heavy arrival traffic.

"Heavy arrival traffic at Woodlands Checkpoint due to usual morning peak period and build up from earlier operation," it said, without elaborating on the details of the operation. "Delay is expected."

It advised travellers to check the One Motoring website before starting their trips.

Photos and videos showed traffic at a standstill and huge jams at the checkpoint.

Motorists reported being stuck since about 3am.

"It seems Woodlands Checkpoint is on lockdown," Facebook user Nikhil Bhardwaj posted at about 4.15am on the ICA Facebook page. "Any idea on when normal flow will resume? Been stuck for an hour already."

Source: CNA/nc/ng