'Lost' driver jailed for Singapore border dash

2014-04-23 11:30
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Singapore - A Malaysian motorist who tried to dodge Singapore's border control has been jailed for eight weeks after a judge rejected his pleas that he was lost and overheating in his car, officials said on Wednesday.

Koh Chin Had, a 42-year-old poultry seller, tailgated another car passing through a raised barrier on 13 April, triggering a security lockdown on the Singapore side of the border.

After his arrest he said he had got lost while travelling to the Malaysian border town of Johor Baru and had ended up at the checkpoint.

He had attempted to sneak across the border behind another driver because he did not have his passport and was growing impatient because his car was too hot, he told a Singapore court.

Koh insisted he had meant to make an immediate u-turn back to Malaysia.

Multiple incidents

But Judge Lee Poh Choo rejected his excuses and sentenced the driver to eight weeks in jail.

"For whatever reason, there has been an increasing number of instances of non-Singaporeans trying to evade immigration clearance and entering Singapore," the Straits Times newspaper quoted the judge as saying.

In January, a Malaysian woman illegally drove into Singapore and eluded police for three days before she was arrested while attempting to trespass at Singapore's foreign ministry.

She was freed after a court ruled that she was of unsound mind.

Last month a 64-year-old Malaysian man sped through border control in a Mercedes Benz sedan despite the front tyres of the car being punctured by a spike barrier, and was only arrested five hours later through an island-wide police dragnet.

Investigations are ongoing over a fourth breach that occurred on Monday.

The incidents have earned Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and police stern rebukes from interior minister Teo Chee Hean, who has ordered a review of border control procedures.

 

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