Number of immigration offenders nabbed by ICA dropped by more than half in 2020

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·1-min read
There was an overall drop in the number of immigration offenders last year. (GRAPHIC: ICA)
There was an overall drop in the number of immigration offenders last year. (GRAPHIC: ICA)

SINGAPORE — The number of immigration offenders nabbed by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) went down by more than half last year amid border restrictions due to the pandemic.

There were 57 illegal immigrants and 416 overstayers arrested in 2020, compared with 128 illegal immigrants and 804 overstayers in 2019.

Meanwhile, 223 people were caught for harbouring immigration offenders and 56 employers were nabbed for hiring such offenders last year.

In 2019, there were 248 people who harboured immigration offenders and 86 employers of such offenders.

In its annual statistics report released on Monday (8 February), ICA said immigration offenders are repatriated and barred from re-entering Singapore.

“In 2020, most IOs employed by errant employers were working in the maintenance and F&B industries. The majority of the harbourers and employers arrested had failed to exercise due diligence to conduct the necessary checks on the foreigners’ immigration status before employing them or renting out their premises,” said ICA.

Separately, the number of people convicted for entering into marriages of convenience also fell from 15 in 2019 to 6 last year.

Stay Home Notices

As part of its enforcement of the Stay Home Notice (SHN) regime, ICA said it monitored more than 40,000 people at its peak in April last year, conducting some 1,000 visits and 8,000 surveillance calls a day.

In total, ICA issued more than 280,000 SHNs last year.

Meanwhile, a total of 22 people were charged with breaching SHNs last year.

ICA’s annual statistics 2020 can be found here.

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