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Singaporean Police Arrests Ten Burmese Illegal Immigrants - 2003-12-24


Singaporean police say they have detained 11 illegal immigrants who were forced to swim to the island state from Malaysia.

Authorities say 10 men from Burma and one Chinese woman were picked up in the Johor Strait this month in three separate incidents.

Local media reports say the illegal immigrants paid unscrupulous agents up to 500 dollars to take them across the strait.

The reports also say that when the immigrants arrived for the two-kilometer trip to Singapore, they were told no boats were available and that they would have to swim. They were given flotation devices.

Police say the immigrants tried to escape Singaporean authorities but eventually surrendered. They say the number of illegals has more than doubled this year to more than 100.

The men were charged with illegal entry and sentenced to one month in jail and four strokes of the cane. Reports say the woman was jailed for one month and fined two thousand dollars.

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