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Judicial CP - January 2004
Straits Times, Singapore, 23 January 2004
Floating box ruse doesn't help illegals
Two men try to camouflage themselves as they swim into Singapore. Like three others, they are nabbed by Coast Guard officers
By Ben Nadarajan
A STYROFOAM box moving against the strong current aroused the suspicions of a Police Coast Guard officer on patrol.
Crew commander Ahmadyza ordered his vessel to close in on the inverted box, which suddenly stopped moving as the boat drew near.
Using a boat hook, Corporal Ahmadyza, 26, tapped on the box and it started moving forward again.
Ordering his ship to intercept the box, he used a pole to flip it over.
Up popped the heads of two men gasping for air.
The duo had punched a hole the size of a man's fist in one side of the box, so they could breathe and look out for police boats.
Corporal Ahmadyza said: 'They used the styrofoam box to try to camouflage themselves among the rubbish and debris which were floating on the water.'
The two men were also spotted by officers in the Coast Guard operations room onshore using a night vision Electro-Optics camera, which picks out objects at sea that emit heat.
Sergeant Mohamed Yasser, 25, explained that because a human body emits more heat than rubbish does, two dots appeared on his screen which were darker than the surrounding trash.
Coast Guard officers nabbed a total of five men early yesterday morning attempting to swim to Singapore from Johor Baru. This includes the two men who used the styrofoam box to conceal themselves.
All are believed to be Bangladeshis, aged between 23 and 31. Four were in T-shirts and shorts, while the fifth wore only shorts. None of them carried any belongings.
Unlawful entry into Singapore carries a maximum punishment of six months in jail and three strokes of the cane.
Last year, a total of 123 illegal immigrants were caught trying to enter Singapore by sea, almost three times the number the previous year.
Police spokesman Chua Chee Wai said illegal immigrants give rise to law-and-order problems.
'Having already risked jail and caning, they are likely to have the same disregard for the law after they reach our shores,' he said.
Straits Times, Singapore, 24 January 2004
Five caught swimming here get jail, cane
FIVE Bangladesh nationals who tried to enter the country illegally by swimming across the Johor Straits were each sentenced to one month's jail and four strokes of the cane in the Subordinate Courts yesterday.
Mohd Obaidullah, 24; Mohd Liton, 30; Mohd Rashid, 22; Mohd Momin, 27 and Mohd Farouk Alom, 27, were all nabbed by the Police Coast Guard officers on Wednesday morning in Singapore waters.
Two of them had hidden beneath a Styrofoam box as they swam across, in a bid to disguise themselves among the rubbish and debris floating on the water.
The duo had even punched a hole the size of a man's fist in one side of the box so they could breathe and look out for police boats.
However, their plan was foiled when Coast Guard officers became suspicious after spotting the box moving against the strong current.
Officers in the Coast Guard operations room who were using a night-vision electro-optic camera, which picks out objects at sea that emit heat, also spotted the two men.
None of the five men picked up was carrying any belongings.
Last year, 123 illegal immigrants were caught trying to enter Singapore by sea, almost three times the number the previous year.
Copyright @ 2003 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
Straits Times, Singapore, 30 January 2004
Wife-slasher gets 8½ years' jail and 18 strokes
While serving home detention, convict slashes wife after quarrel, breaks tag and escapes from lawful custody
By Selina Lum
A MAN, who had slashed his wife while he was serving his time on home detention, was yesterday sent back to the slammer.
District judge Tan Puay Boon sent Johnny Lim, 46, to jail for 8½ years and ordered him to be caned 18 strokes.
Lim had pleaded guilty on Wednesday to causing grievous hurt with a weapon, vandalism and escaping from lawful custody.
For causing grievous hurt to his wife, Madam Yew Guat Keok, 42, he was given seven years and 12 strokes of the cane.
He got one year and six strokes for vandalising a Cisco electronic monitoring tag worth $1,000, which he had torn off his ankle.
And for escaping from lawful custody by going into hiding after slashing his wife, he was given 1½ years.
The jail terms in the first and third charge were ordered to run consecutively.
Lim had been sentenced to 21 months in jail in November 2002 for kidnapping, criminal intimidation, causing hurt and extortion.
In 1989, he had kept his former girlfriend in a deserted house and then a hotel room for four days to force her to listen to his pleas.
He was on the run for more than a decade before he was caught in 2002 and jailed.
After serving 10 months, he was released from prison on Sept 26 last year to serve the rest of his sentence at home.
An electronic tag was strapped to his ankle and he was supposed to stay at home between 7pm and 7am.
If he had obeyed the rules, he would have been due to become a free man on Jan 7 this year.
But on Oct 6 last year, he went looking for his estranged wife in an attempt to patch things up.
He called her at 6.40pm, met her at a nearby coffeeshop and got her to return with him to his two-room flat in Ang Mo Kio.
But they got into an argument and he ended up slashing her repeatedly from behind with a chopper.
He then took off his ankle strap and fled.
Soaked in blood, Madam Yew, a hawker, managed to drag herself to the corridor to seek help.
More than an hour later, a Cisco officer turned up at the flat after receiving a computer alert that Lim's tag was missing.
Lim was arrested six days later. The tag was never found.
Home detention was introduced in 2000 to allow those convicted of minor crimes and unlikely to pose risks to society to serve the tail-end of their sentences at home with an electronic device tagged to their ankles.
A central monitoring system is alerted if the tag is cut or if the detainee breaks the curfew.
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