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Checkpoint officers catch foreign national trying to escape Singapore by swimming to Malaysia

The 35-year-old Bangladeshi national had been under police investigation for voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon

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Singapore—A Bangladeshi national was apprehended by officers at Woodlands Checkpoint last week as he tried to escape Singapore by swimming to Malaysia.

The 35-year-old male had been under police investigation due to the charge of voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, according to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Facebook page on Saturday, 22 August.

He attempted his escape last Tuesday, August 18, according to a post which began with  “You ‘sinking’ of escaping?”

You ‘sinking’ of escaping? ??On 18 Aug, checkpoint officers at Woodlands Checkpoint foiled a male Bangladeshi’s…

Posted by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority on Friday, 21 August 2020

The ICA post added, “Our borders are the first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore’s security. The ICA takes a serious view of attempts to enter or depart Singapore illegally.”

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The man’s illegal attempt to exit the country could result in a fine of as much as S$ 2,000, a jail term for as long as six months, or both, under the Immigration Act (Cap 133). Illegal entry to Singapore, on the other hand, could land someone at least three strokes of the cane and a jail term of as long as six months.

The water border that separates Singapore and Malaysia where the man tried to swim across, the Tebrau Straits, is 39 kilometers long. Swimming across is possible, but inadvisable due to border controls, and water pollution. Additionally, Singapore’s Police Coast Guard (PCG) diligently patrols the area from Woodlands, and even those training for Iron Man competitions are checked by the PGC.

This is not the first time a Bangladeshi national has attempted to cross Singapore and Malaysia’s waters. In 2017, four men from Bangladesh between the ages of 25 and 42 who tried to swim from Malaysia to Singapore were caught by the PCG for unlawful entry into the country.

They were seen in the waters off of Sungei Tuan, part of Malaysian territory, on March 14, 2017, according to the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the ICA. The men were apprehended and arrested during their foiled attempt.

In 2016, a 22-year-old male was also arrested for unlawful entry into the country after trying to swim from Malaysia to Singapore. He was also seen by the PCG past midnight on May 2, 2016, in the Straits of Johor, near the Lim Chu Kang area, and was intercepted by security forces. His nationality, however, was not disclosed.—/TISG

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