SINGAPORE: Twenty men and a woman were arrested over five days for immigration-related offences, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said in a news release on Friday (Aug 2).
Those arrested were aged between 21 and 55 years old, and included Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Sri Lankan and Vietnamese nationals. Three Singaporeans and a Singapore permanent resident were also arrested in the raids.
ICA officers covered residential and commercial premises in areas including Bedok, Bugis, Changi, Little India, Pasir Ris and Serangoon.
The offences included overstaying and employment of immigration offenders.
"Some of these (immigration offenders) were found engaging in work related to construction as well as food and beverage industries," ICA said. "Investigations are ongoing."
The authority said it "takes a serious view of attempts to overstay, enter or depart Singapore illegally".
The penalties for overstaying or illegal entry are a jail term of up to six months and at least three strokes of the cane. Those convicted of illegal departure may face a fine of up to S$2,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.
"ICA also takes a firm stance against any person who harbours immigration offenders," it added.
"Those who wish to rent their premises must exercise due diligence in checking the status of their prospective foreign tenants to ensure that their status in Singapore is legal."
This includes checking the tenant's original immigration or work pass, and cross checking the tenant's details against their passport. They should also verify the validity of their tenant's pass by checking with the issuing authority.
Any person found guilty of negligently, recklessly or knowingly harbouring overstayers and/or illegal immigrants may be sentenced to six months to two years in jail and a fine of up to S$6,000.