Singapore, A Civilized Country, Modern, with Human Rights. But the way they treat residents from other countries is no different from treating animals, they see us as criminals when we’re innocent!
I booked a return ticket from Singapore Airlines and a 5 night stay at Marina Bay Sands, the total cost up to $ 4000, and we carried a handbag with $3000 cash on hand. We did not bring any illegal stuff, and we all speak English. The only problem was that the booking for the hotel was not under my name, because I asked my friend to do it (she’s a Casino membership so can book for a cheaper price on agoda 30 %). When customs requested, this same friend called up and spoke to the officials to confirm that I asked her book the room under her name. Customs can call the hotel to confirm.
But Singapore customs says that hotels not booked under our name is not accepted! They didn’t say anything and pushed us into a cold room with no water, no food, no time to pee, they did not even explain why they did that. We flew in the morning, so we didn’t have breakfast, landed in Changi at 3 pm, but they kept us in custody until 8 pm in the very cold room until my hands and my lips were numb. I felt paralyzed and faint from exhaustion, hunger and thirst.
I request a lot of times the right to speak with the authorities, demanding to know what’s happening to me and why? But they just ignore it. Then I finally managed to contact a friend who used to work at the Consulate General of Vietnam in Singapore. He immediately called the office of the Singapore Customs where we are being served but couldn’t even get through. I tried to pass the phone to an official in the customs to get my friend to speak to them, but they still left us in the room. Then my friend sent an urgent email to try and help us out of this situation, but about 2 hours later, they came to confiscate my phone and bags and escorted us to a dorm that was hideously ugly and dirty. They informed us that we are not allowed in the country. When I heard that, I requested for one phone call to cancel my room at MBS, but they did not allow me to do so.
We continued to be held until the next morning where we were transferred on the plane to Vietnam with no explanation why. We lost so much money from the plane tickets to the hotels and were treated like criminals. Truly unforgetable.
After arriving at Tan Son Nhat Airport, I went straight to the consulate to do demand an explanation as to why I was treated like this.
By the way I want to call all of our citizens, if you encounter similar cases like us, if you are completely innocent, go to the embassy in Hanoi or the Consulate to make a complaint! I believe there are a lot of people who were, are and will be treated unfairly. Just lend a small hand to pressurize them, Brethren we deserve to be treated more fairly and civilized than this!
Phuong Thao Banh
Thi Thuy Linh Vu