Integrated Checkpoints Command set up to enhance border security measures

Integrated Checkpoints Command set up to enhance border security measures
The photo shows Sergeant Elaine See Toh and a labrador standing by to inspect buses entering Singapore from Malaysia at the Woodlands Checkpoint. The new ICC model will achieve greater operational co-ordination and provide clearer lines of responsibility and command for the ICA, SPF and CNB officers working together at the checkpoints.

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) launched the Integrated Checkpoints Command (ICC) today to strengthen Singapore's border security measures.

The ICC will further strengthen coordination efforts among the Home Team agencies under a "unified command and control structure", said a government statement issued today.

 "This model will achieve greater operational co-ordination and provide clearer lines of responsibility and command for the ICA, SPF and CNB officers working together at the checkpoints," said the statement.

The setting up of the integrated command is part of the Home Team's continuous efforts to enhance border security measures. It follows incidents of checkpoint breaches in the past year.

"Over the years, we have enhanced our border security model to keep pace with evolving threats and the changing operating environment. In April 2003, the Singapore Immigration & Registration (SIR) and the checkpoints operations of Customs & Excise Department (CED) merged to form the current ICA. This brought about the harmonisation of immigration and customs operations at all our air, land and sea checkpoints," said the statement.

It added: "A key responsibility of the Home Team is to maintain the security of our borders to protect our citizens and homeland from external threats. Each border domain of land, air and sea is unique in terms of geography, movement patterns, threats, operating challenges and resource levels."

The ICC comprises the Land, Sea and Air domains. It will be implemented in phases, starting with the Land Domain with effect from today.

Each domain will have its own commander who will be responsible for all Home Team checkpoint operations within the domain. All three domain commanders will report to the Commissioner of ICA.

The ICC Land Domain which covers the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints will be headed by Assistant Commissioner (AC) Ong Choon Beng, 41. He will oversee all operations, including all existing Home Team units, at the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints.

AC Ong has served 16 years with ICA and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), holding various appointments, including Commander of Woodlands Command, Head of the Passport Unit at ICA, and Director of the Office of the Chief Science & Technology Officer (OCSTO) at MHA.

AC Koo Weng Yew Alan, 45, will succeed AC Ong as the new Commander of Woodlands Command. He was formerly the Senior Deputy Commander of Ground Operations at Woodlands Command.

chenj@sph.com,sg

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