SINGAPORE: Police have arrested a boatman who tried to enter Singapore waters illegally to smuggle out illegal immigrants.
Officers from the Police Coast Guard (PCG) and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) carried out a joint operation on Monday.
At about 8.45pm, officers from PCG and ICA detected a suspicious unlit boat approaching the waters off Pulau Ubin.
The six—meter motorised boat was immediately intercepted by PCG’s Special Task Squadron (STS) upon its entry into Singapore waters.
Despite repeated verbal and visual warnings through the firing of flares, the boatman refused to stop his boat.
Instead, he made several dangerous manoeuvres in an attempt to shake off the pursuit, which caused his boat to capsize.
Police established the boatman to be a Malaysian aged 25.
He was hauled out of the water and placed under arrest.
Investigations show that he attempted to enter Singapore waters to pick up some illegal immigrants who had contracted him to take them out of Singapore unlawfully.
The suspect will be charged in court on 11 July for unlawful entry, and for conspiracy in engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants.
If convicted of unlawful entry, he could be jailed up to six months and fined up to S$6,000, with at least three strokes of the cane.
And for helping to convey illegal immigrants, he could be jailed two to five years and given at least three strokes of the cane.
In 2011, 54 illegal immigrants were arrested by PCG, a drop of 25 per cent compared to the 72 arrested in 2010.
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