SINGAPORE - Fewer immigration offenders (IO) were arrested by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in 2014 than in 2013, according to the latest ICA Annual Statistics Report released Tuesday, Jan 27.
ICA said a total of 2,040 IOs were arrested in 2014, comprising 350 illegal immigrants and 1,690 overstayers. This represented a decrease of 19 per cent compared to 2013, when 2,530 IOs were detained.
The number of harbourers arrested in 2014 increased slightly by 7 per cent to 250 compared to the year before. However, there was a 29 per cent dip in the number of employers arrested for hiring IOs.
ICA said that it adopts a multi-pronged approach in tackling the problem through a combination of deterrent laws, stringent border checks and inland enforcement.
It also urged Singaporeans not to employ or harbour IOs, as "without the prospect of illegal employment or shelter, these IOs will not find Singapore an attractive destination".
Contraband cases detected at Singapore's checkpoints also dropped by 6 per cent, from 99,700 in 2013 to 93,380 in 2014.
ICA said it would continue to conduct security checks at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband items into the country.
According to ICA, the number of people convicted for marriages of convenience to obtain immigration facilities in Singapore also fell from 284 to 170, a drop of 40 per cent.