Jail, caning for Malaysian who smuggled illegal immigrant into Singapore by boat

A Malaysian man ferrying a Bangladeshi by boat to help him get into Singapore illegally was caught by the Police Coast Guard on March 25, 2019. — TODAY file pic
A Malaysian man ferrying a Bangladeshi by boat to help him get into Singapore illegally was caught by the Police Coast Guard on March 25, 2019. — TODAY file pic

SINGAPORE, May 3 — A 46-year-old man who smuggled a 20-year-old Bangladeshi into Singapore from Malaysia by boat was sentenced to two years’ jail and six strokes of the cane today.

Azman Abdullah, a Malaysian, had pleaded guilty to one count of entering Singapore unlawfully, and one count of conveying to Singapore a prohibited immigrant called Md Ibrahim Khalil.

The court heard that Azman, who owns a blue fibreglass speedboat, was offered a job by a Malaysian man who went only by the name Razali.

He was to transport an illegal immigrant to Singapore and if he managed to successfully execute it, he would get RM800 upon his return to Johor, Malaysia.

Azman accepted it and met up with Razali and Ibrahim at about 6.30pm on March 25, near the Pasir Gudang Ferry Terminal in Johor.

In Azman’s presence, Razali told Ibrahim to jump off the boat and swim to shore once they were in Singapore’s territorial waters.

Razali then gave Azman instructions on which direction to take in the waters once Ibrahim had disembarked.

With that, Azman headed towards the shore of Punggol Barat in Singapore. About 20m from the shoreline, he stopped his boat, got Ibrahim to jump into the sea and swim to shore, and then turned back towards Malaysia.

This was about 7.40pm.

However, the boat was spotted by Sergeant David Ong Wei Kiat who was on duty at the Police Coast Guard Command Centre.

Azman heard a public announcement system coming from a Police Coast Guard’s boat in pursuit and started evading it. A short chase ensued.

Eventually, the boat was intercepted in Singapore’s territorial waters. Both Azman and Ibrahim were arrested, and the speedboat was seized by the police.

For conveying into Singapore an illegal immigrant, Azman could have been jailed up to five years.

For entering Singapore unlawfully, he could have been jailed up to six more months. — TODAY