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M'sian jailed for failing to stop at Woodlands checkpoint
Publication Date : 22-04-2014
A Malaysian motorist - the third person to breach security at Woodlands checkpoint in four months - was jailed for eight weeks on Tuesday.
Poultry seller Koh Chin Had, 42, admitted to failing to stop his Johor-registered vehicle and driving into Singapore at the checkpoint's car arrival counter two Sundays ago.
A district court heard that Koh was driving to a temple in Johor Baru on April 13 when he lost his way and found himself at the Johor Baru ((Malaysia) Immigration checkpoint.
He told an immigration officer that he wanted to U-turn back towards Malaysia and that he did not have his passport with him. The officer told him to report to the Malaysian police near the Malaysian immigration checkpoint.
But he did not. Instead, he drove towards Woodlands checkpoint and joined the queue at the arrival car section.
He tailgated the vehicle in front of him. When it drove past the drop arm barrier which was lifted up, Koh quickly drove his vehicle forward as well. An Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer saw this and immediately pressed the panic button, causing the arrival car zone to be locked down. Traffic there came to a standstill.
Koh was arrested.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Lu Jia said Koh had entered Singapore via Woodlands checkpoint on at least three occasions, and knew that he was required to stop his vehicle at an authorised point of entry.
District Judge Lee Poh Choo agreed with the prosecutor that border security was important and a deterrent sentence was called for. She also noted a recent trend involving non-Singaporeans trying to evade immigration clearance and entering Singapore.
She told the father of two that if he tried to evade immigration clearance, he had to be punished appropriately.
Koh could have been fined up to S$2,000 (US$1,594) and jailed for up to six months for failing to stop his vehicle without reasonable cause.