Four Malaysians were arrested last Thursday at Woodlands Checkpoint after they tried to smuggle a Myanmar national out of Singapore in a trunk of a car.
Not exactly the craftiest of ways to sneak someone out of the country, we’d say.
On the evening of Feb 28, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers stopped a Malaysia-registered car for inspections at the checkpoint. The car had been driven by a 42-year-old Malaysian woman, with another Malaysian lady accompanying her as a passenger. The unexpected passenger was found hiding in the trunk of the car during the course of inspections, and she didn’t have any travel or identification document in her possession.
Funnily enough, they even took a picture of her in the opened trunk — which could mean that officers made her climb back into it just to take a snapshot.
Wary ICA officers then noticed that another Malaysia-registered car had been idling at the post-immigration area with its engine running and ready to depart. Overall, very suspicious.
ICA then decided to activate a lockdown at Woodlands Checkpoint that night and nabbed the suspicious car’s driver and passenger.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the drivers and passengers of both cars, who were all Malaysians, were in cahoots,” noted ICA.
Nowhere did the authorities mention why the Myanmar national tried to flee Singapore and enter Malaysia. When queried by Coconuts Singapore, ICA responded that it was unable to comment further on the case as court proceedings are ongoing.
“They were immediately placed under arrest together with the woman found hiding in the car boot.”
If convicted for illegal departure, it’ll be a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail term of up to six months. It’s an even bigger penalty for engaging in the business of conveying prohibited immigrants out of Singapore — offenders could face up to five years in jail and at least three strokes of the cane.
Editor’s Note: Article updated to include a statement by ICA