Monday, August 19, 2013

More overstayers, contraband smuggling cases in first half of 2013: ICA - Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: The total number of immigration offenders arrested by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has fallen, according to its mid-year statistics report released on Tuesday.

From January to June this year, 1311 overstayers and illegal immigrants were arrested, down 0.5 per cent from 1,318 in the same period last year.

More overstayers were arrested -- 996, up 9.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

However, the number of illegal immigrants arrested fell to 315, down 22.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Between January and June 2013, 111 harbourers and 55 employers of overstayers and illegal immigrants were also arrested.

ICA also said the number of contraband smuggling cases detected went up.

There were 46,300 cases in the first six months of this year, up 17.2 per cent from 39,500 cases in the same period in 2012.

ICA said more Singapore-registered "branded" cars were used to convey contraband items between January and June this year.

Nine of such cars were used, compared to just one each for the entire 2011 and 2012 period.

Smugglers are also making use of "creative" methods to bring in contraband items, especially duty-unpaid cigarettes.

These goods are hidden in the car bridge of vehicles, in modified compartments within furniture on board tour coaches as well as in the empty space in rafts, ICA said.
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