The number of employers arrested for employing illegal immigrants or overstayers increased to 55 in the first half of this year, from 15 in the same period last year, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority revealed in its half-yearly report on Tuesday.
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Here is the details from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority press release:
The total number of Immigration Offenders (IO) arrested by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) showed a 0.5% decline (1,311 IO) for the period January to June this year as compared to the same period last year (1,318 IO).
IOs refer to illegal immigrants (II) and overstayers (OS). Of the 1,311 IOs arrested, 315 were IIs and 996 were OS, registering a fall of 22.8% and an increase of 9.5% respectively, as compared to the same period last year.
As the lead agency in border security and identification, ICA's checks are critical to our nation's security.
ICA has been effective in deterring IOs because of the thorough examinations on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints, administration of tough laws and the close collaboration with strategic partners such as the Police and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The ICA will put in every effort and continue to take the necessary measures to keep Singapore's IO situation in check.
INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF HARBOURERS & EMPLOYERS ARRESTED
There were 111 harbourers and 55 employers arrested between January and June 2013. All investigative and associated functions for harbouring and employment cases had been transferred from the Singapore Police Force to ICA since 1 July 2012.
This ensures a centralised management of all immigration-offences at ICA, which allows ICA to coordinate enforcement efforts against harbourers and employers.
ICA will continue to work with other enforcement agencies such as the Police and MOM to stamp out such illegal activities.
At the same time, ICA will intensify our public education drive to spread our key messages to the community so that they do not harbour or employ IOs.
Without a place to stay or work, these IOs would not find it attractive to remain in Singapore.
ICA adopts a targeted approach in its public education efforts to reach out to potential harbourers.
Some of the target audience include housing agents, grassroots leaders, students and senior citizens.
While housing agents, grassroots leaders and students are good sources of advocates to help spread our anti-harbouring messages, our community engagement efforts are also extended to senior citizens who may not be aware of the need to conduct checks or the gravity of the offence1, and as such, may unwittingly rent out their units to immigration offenders.
Coupled with the assistance of a group of dedicated volunteers, ICA's main messages of anti-harbouring (i.e. homeowners are required to conduct mandatory checks before renting out their premises, potential penalties) and non-admittance of controlled / prohibited goods at the checkpoints are disseminated to the general community through their participation of events in the heartlands, worker dormitories, schools and even food centres.
WHO SHOULD CHECK?
Homeowners who wish to rent their premises to foreigners are required to exercise due diligence in checking the status of their prospective foreign tenants to ensure that they are in Singapore legally.
HOW TO CHECK?
Before renting your room/ house/ flat to a foreigner, you are required to:
1) Check his ORIGINAL immigration pass / work pass;
2) Cross-check particulars on this pass against particulars on his ORIGINAL passport; and
3) Verify the validity of his pass by checking with the issuing authority, i.e. Immigration & Checkpoints Authority OR Ministry of Manpower.