Indonesian man, 26, jailed, caned, for illegally entering S'pore for the 5th time

In mitigation, the man said he was "deeply sorry".

Amber Tay | April 08, 2024, 07:31 PM



A 26-year-old Indonesian man attempted to illegally enter Singapore for the fifth time, despite previously receiving a total of 25 strokes of the cane and four previous convictions over immigration offences.

He was sentenced to one-and-a-half years in jail and nine strokes of the cane on Apr. 8.

What happened

The man, who goes by the name Brick, was arrested by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers when he did not have any evidence that proved he was staying in Singapore legally, CNA reported.

He did not possess any travel documents on him when he was arrested.

Using his fingerprints, ICA's investigation branch was able trace him to a person with an adverse record under the name of Brick.

Brick wanted to enter Singapore again in June 2023, though his reasons for doing so were not specifically stated in open court.

He managed to enter the shoreline off Tuas undetected by sailing to Singapore in a sampan from Batam.

He then swam to Singapore using an improvised floating device when he approached Singapore's shoreline, abandoning the boat in the process.

On Apr. 8, Brick pleaded guilty to two charges under the Immigration Act: Entering Singapore without a valid pass, and entering Singapore without written permission when he had been lawfully sent out of the country.

Past convictions

Brick had been arrested four times before his current sentence.

He was first arrested in May 2017, and was sentenced to six weeks' jail and four strokes of the cane for an immigration offence.

In January 2018, he was given 14 weeks' jail and six strokes of the cane for the same offence. Another charge of returning to Singapore illegally was also taken into consideration.

Then, in July 2019, similar offences landed him a sentence of 18 weeks' jail and seven strokes of the cane.

His last recorded conviction in Singapore was November 2019, where he was charged for similar immigration offences for entering Singapore without a valid pass and returning illegally after he had been removed from the country.

Brick was then sentenced to a year's jail and eight strokes of the cane.

Before getting deported, he was given a written notice which stated that he was banned from entering Singapore from Jul. 10, 2020.

The notice also stated he would need prior written permission to enter or reside in Singapore in the future.

This notice was acknowledged by Brick with his thumbprint before he was sent back to Indonesia.

Prosecutor and judge said his criminal convictions showed repeated offending

The prosecutor and judge agreed Brick's sentencing had to be increased, both noting that his past criminal convictions showed his recalcitrance and repeated offending.

The prosecutor sought the maximum jail term of six months for entering Singapore without a valid pass, nine strokes of the cane, as well as another year in jail for returning to Singapore illegally.

In mitigation, Brick asked for "the lightest sentences" through a Bahasa Indonesia interpreter, saying he is working for his family and his mother is currently ill.

He also said he was "deeply sorry".

Top image via Singapore Police Force