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Judicial CP - February 2004
BruneiDirect.Com, 15 February 2004
Brunei Imposes Caning On Immigration Offenders
Bandar Seri Begawan – Immigration offenders in Brunei are now facing stiffer penalties as caning comes into effect together with jail term and compound fines.
The new amendment to Immigration laws known as the Immigration Order Act 2004 metes out caning penalties to immigration offenders.
If proven guilty, immigration offenders will also be given a jail term and compound fines in accordance with the type of offences.
The new amendment took effect two days ago.
The government has also taken actions that not only strengthen the control at entry posts but also intensified enforcement activities as well as to ensure the effectiveness of the law by amending the Immigration Act from time to time in line with the nation's development and environment for maintaining the prosperity and security of Brunei.
Among the amendments are: any illegal immigrants entering and staying in the country illegally without valid immigration passes, if found guilty, will be sentenced to a heavy penalty of imprisonment not less than three months and not exceeding two years and caning not less than three strokes of the cane.
The amendment also requires any person to present proof that he or she has entered the country without violating the relevant regulation.
Under the similar act, offenders who have stayed in the country for more than 90 days after the expiry of his or her immigration pass, if found guilty, will also be meted out with a heavy sentence of an imprisonment of not less than three months and not exceeding two years and not less than three strokes of the caning.
Persons found to have abetted in bringing in and taking out immigration offenders or taking part in transactions in bringing in immigration offenders, if found guilty, will also be given a severe sentence compared with the present sentence.
The penalty will be an imprisonment for a period of not less than two years and not exceeding seven years and caning of not less than three strokes of the cane.
Employers who are found to have employed immigration offenders and those who are found to have been harbouring immigration offenders by providing accommodation and food, if found guilty, will be sent to jail for a duration of not less than six months and not exceeding two years and fine not exceeding $6,000.
For foreign nationals, who have attempted to enter Brunei without valid documents, if found guilty, will be sentenced to not less than three months imprisonment and not exceeding two years jail and fine not exceeding $4,000.
According to statistics, a total of 202 people have been found guilty and sentenced to a specific duration for violating immigration laws throughout 2003.
This does not include 767 Brunei citizens and foreign nationals who were compounded for violating Immigration Act and Regulations.
According to the Immigration department, it has also become a trend for employers or certain people to recruit Immigration offenders from time to time.
In 2003 alone, 36 employers have been fined under the immigration Act, 69 foreign nationals have overstayed after the expiry of their Immigration Passes and 31 foreign nationals entering the country without valid Immigration Passes have also been brought before the court. -- Courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
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