New Batam immigration rules faze some Singaporeans

New Batam immigration rules faze some Singaporeans

Several Singaporeans found themselves turned back from Batam immigration yesterday after possibly flouting new rules.

Miss Ann Fernandez and two friends were among a group of eight who were turned back from the Batam Centre Ferry Terminal after taking the 9.40am ferry there.

The 33-year-old tutor said they were waiting to clear Indonesian immigration when an officer made them, along with another woman, stand in a separate line. Their travel documents were also taken away, she said.

The women said a senior immigration officer made an announcement to the entire hall and gestured at a sign which portrayed a finger on the lips.

"It wasn't until much later that another officer came out of a room and asked us to follow him," she said. "He also handed our passports to a worker from the ferry service operator."

They were taken to the departure point, where there were another four Singaporeans who had apparently been picked out earlier for either talking or using their mobile phones.

Miss Fernandez said immigration officers could have at least told the group what they had done wrong. They found out more details only after they returned to Singapore.

A previous report in Chinese evening daily, Shin Min Daily News, quoted ferry operator Wave Master Holidays Club saying that about 50 Singaporeans are turned back every week. - Maureen Koh

This article was first published on August 10, 2014.
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