According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore yearly statistics report released today, the number of illegal immigrants arrested in the first half of this year fell by 34% as compared to last year. However, the number of overstaying foreigners rose by 4% as compared to the same period.
Between January and June for this year, 133 illegal immigrants were nabbed; in contrast, 203 were arrested in the same period last year. 1020 overstayers were arrested this year, as compared to 982 last year in the same period.
There were 199 harbourers and 48 employers of immigration offenders arrested, down from 109 and 40, respectively, for the same period in 2014.
“The increased arrests can be attributed to strong collaboration with the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Manpower in conducting inland enforcement against illegal harbouring and employment offences,” ICA said in a media release.
The ICA also noted that smuggling of contraband goods has dropped by 3% from 47,806 in the first half of this year as compared to the same period last year. Smugglers commonly used modified compartments of vehicles, while some unusual methods included making use of hollow spaces in goods or in air parcel consignments.
“These methods of concealment could just as easily be employed by terrorists to smuggle dangerous materials such as weapons or explosives into Singapore.” ICA added that it will continue to enforce stringent security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints.
Controlled items such as airsoft guns and drugs were some of the items detected in such parcels, it said.