Sunday, June 13, 2004� - News Headlines-Whipping For Two Under Brunei’s Tough New Immigration Laws� - News Headlines

Whipping For Two Under Brunei’s Tough New Immigration Laws
By Lyna Mohamad, Achong Tanjong & Rol Ezam

Bandar Seri Begawan - An Indian and a Pakistani will become the first two offenders to bear the brunt of Brunei’s tougher immigration laws.

They were sentenced in the Bandar Magistrate’s Court yesterday to Jerudong Prison for three months. They would receive three strokes of the cane as both pleaded guilty to overstaying in the country.
As the grace period given to immigration offenders ran out at midnight on June 11, the two were among four foreigners arrested and prosecuted under the new amendment to the Immigration Act. The new Act includes the harsher sentence of whipping for serious offences.

This signals the end of leniency for illegal immigrants, the Senior Chief Immigration Officer of the Enforcement Section stated.

Eighty others had beat the deadline and thus eluded whipping under the grace period given.

Indian national Kamaludeen Abu Pakkar Abdul Ajjees, 28, was found to have remained in this country since December 19 last year while Pakistani Mian Jan Ali Akbar, 36, had unlawfully remained here from January 8, 2003.

The Immigration prosecutor said both had stayed in the state after the expiry of their social visit pass.

In an anomaly of sorts, one was nabbed in a raid while the other had surrendered himself. The Indian, Kamaludeen, was arrested by Immigration officers yesterday morning when he went to the department to report himself. The Pakistani however was arrested at a rented house at No. 919, Spg 921 in Kg Sungai Belukut on the same day in a raid.

Underscoring the tougher laws, Ops Buru 35 was launched just after midnight and saw a total of 11 foreigners rounded up, three of whom were women, after travel documents produced failed to satisfy the law enforcement officers. Eighteen others were issued with special passes requiring them to report back to the Enforcement Unit for further screening.

In the raid lasting more than five hours, five foreigners, 3 women and 2 men, as well as a permanent resident and his live-in partner were issued with special passes requiring them to report back to the Enforcement Unit for a charge of close proximity. Their cases will be transferred to the Syariah Office.

The Senior Chief Immigration Officer advised all employers not to employ immigration offenders. He sought the cooperation of the public in curbing illegal immigration activities by reporting any such crimes to the Enforcement hotline number at 2382555 or 2382777.

The Senior officer also cautioned those still in hiding that the department will frequently conduct operations to track down any law violators. Up to the deadline of the grace period, he disclosed that more than 80 foreigners had surrendered to Enforcement, thus escaping penalization under the new amendment.

In details released, Pakistanis Mian Jan Md Ali Akbar and Shah Zarim Khan Azizur Rahman, 39 were taken into custody for staying illegally since the expiry of visit passes on January 7, 2003 and March 30, last year.

The two men were arrested during Ops Buru 35 conducted by 16 Immigration Enforcement officers. Commencing just after midnight to 6am, the raid involved rented houses in Kg Sungai Kebun, Kg Bunut, Perpindahan Kg Mata-Mata, Kg Kiulap and Kg Sungai Belukut in Kota Baru.

Their fellow countryman, Hamayun Hj Babu, 45 was issued a special pass to report back for further questioning. If found to be abetting his two friends by giving them protection, shelter or food, he will be punishable under the Immigration Act 55 (1) (d).

Meanwhile, it was unfortunate for two who turned themselves in yesterday morning to Enforcement - Bangladeshi Humayun Kabir Hiddayet-Ullah, 39, whose visit pass expired on Nov 19, 2003 and Kamaludeen Abu Bakkar Abdul Ajjees who overstayed since Dec 19 2003.

The four men arrested were brought to court yesterday afternoon and charged under the new endorsement of the Immigration Act 15 (1). -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin


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