SINGAPORE - A human smuggling syndicate was smashed in a joint operation involving the Police Coast Guard (PCG) and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
On July 17, officers from PCG and ICA found a man hiding inside a wooden crate on a craft off Jurong Port.
Seven male Indonesians , namely Kamaruzzaman, Basarudin, Muhammad Syarman, Rahman Bin Bada, Ranto Parulian Purba, Razali Bin Abdul Samad and Zabir, were subsequently arrested for attempting to smuggle the immigration offender from Singapore to Batam, Indonesia.
Within 20 hours of the operation, investigations by PCG also led to the arrest of a male Singaporean, 55-year-old Kassim Bin Sahak, who had transported the immigration offender in a lorry.
All of the 9 people arrested were charged in court on July 19.
The immigration offender, Rasnayaka Mudiyanselage Manjula Bandara, is a Sri Lankan aged 28 years old. On August 2, Rasnayaka was convicted and sentenced to 1 month in jail for the offence of unlawful departure and 3 months' imprisonment and 6 strokes of the cane for the offence of overstaying.
By September 23, all 7 Indonesians were convicted for engaging in a business of conveying a prohibited immigrant out of Singapore unlawfully. Two other similar charges were taken into consideration. Each person was sentenced to 2 years' imprisonment and 3 strokes of the cane.
Rahman Bin Bada, one of the 7, was sentenced to another 4 years of imprisonment for contravening the Prohibition Entry Order. In total, he was sentenced to 6 years in jail and 3 strokes of the cane.
On Oct 9, Kassim, was convicted of the charge for engaging in a business of conveying a prohibited immigrant out of Singapore. Two other similar charges were taken into consideration. He was sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in jail.
Under the Immigration Act (Cap 133), the penalties for overstaying or illegal entry are a jail term of up to 6 months and a minimum of 3 strokes of the cane, while the penalties for illegal departure is a fine of up to $2,000, a jail term of up to 6 months, or both.