8 jailed for bid to smuggle overstayer to Batam

8 jailed for bid to smuggle overstayer to Batam

Members of a gang who tried to smuggle a Sri Lankan man to Batam after he overstayed his Singapore visa have been jailed, police said on Wednesday.

The eight-man syndicate tried to sneak 28-year-old Rasnayaka Mudiyanselage Manjula Bandara to the Indonesian island by boat on July 17.

However, officers from the Police Coast Guard and Immigration & Checkpoints Authority boarded the craft off Jurong Port at about 9.45pm and found Rasnayaka hidden in a wooden crate.

He was arrested along with seven Indonesian men. Singaporean Kassam Sahak, 55 - who drove Rasnayaka to the boat in a lorry - was arrested later.

Last Wednesday, the Indonesian smugglers were each sentenced to two years in jail and three strokes of the cane.

Kassam was jailed for two years and nine months.

One of the Indonesians, Rahman Bada, was also jailed for another four years for contravening a Prohibition Entry Order that disallowed him from entering Singapore.

For overstaying or illegal entry, an offender can be jailed for up to six months and be given at least three strokes of the cane.

The penalty for illegal departure is a fine of up to $2,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

The police said: "The Home Team will not relent in its efforts to ferret out undesirable persons and to stamp out any attempts by smuggling syndicates."

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