Lest We Forget


Compiled by Yazid Aji

New tricks to escape raids

Ayu Sulaiman

February 1, 2001 – Foreigners who illegally seek lucrative jobs in the Sultanate are now employing new tricks’ in a bid to outwit the raiding Immigration officers. But the authorities are not fooled by these tactics.

Front doors were made to appear as if they were locked from the outside, suggesting that the occupants were not in the houses being raided.

In the latest operation by officers from the Enforcement Section of the Immigration and National Registration late Tuesday evening, the majority of the raided houses appeared to be locked from the outside, indicating that the occupants were not in.

The raid led by Haji Juma’at bin Haji Burut, Senior Chief Immigration Officer, and codenamed Operation Ular in conjunction with the Year of the Snake, targetted several sites in Brunei-Muara District in an effort to nab immigration offenders.

Speaking to the Bulletin, Haji Raya bin Hj Dollah, Chief Immigration Officer at the Enforcement Section, revealed that three Bangladeshis and three Indonesians were brought to the Enforcement Section for investigation after they failed to produce proper immigration documents. One of the Bangladeshis tried to escape as the officers knocked on his door.

A window that was used as an escape route. PHOTO: AYU SULAIMAN

It was upon hearing the sound of broken glass that the officers ran after him. He was eventually caught.

Meanwhile, one of the Bangladeshis was released as computer records showed that his immigration papers were in order, while one of the Indonesian men was awaiting “removal” procedure from the Sultanate.

Meanwhile, two Bangladeshis and two Indonesians will be charged with overstaying in the Sultanate as computer records showed that they have overstayed in the country for more than a year, with the maximum being almost three years.

All of the suspects were in their 20s and 30s.

The Immigration (Immigration Act) (Amendment) Order, 1998 states that a foreigner “overstaying in the Sultanate for not more than 90 days shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding S4,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months”.

While a foreigner overstaying in the country for more than 90 days but not exceeding a period of two years shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding BND6,000 or an imprisonment sentence not less than three months and not more than two years.

Overstaying, an offence under Section 15 (1) Immigration Act, formed the majority of Immigration cases heard in court between January 1 and November 30 last year, amounting to 127 cases.

BND400 collected at fruit auction

Jacky Lim

February 5, 2001 – The Royal Customs and Excise Department held on auction yesterday morning to clear off fruits and vegetables that were seized in this year’s largest discovery of undeclared goods. An estimated amount of nearly BND400 was collected from the auction.

According to Assistant Superintendent of the Preventive Branch, Royal Customs and Excise Department Haji Jamil bin Haji Tuah, the fruits and vegetables were seized during a joint operation held last Thursday morning between the Preventive Section of the Royal Customs and Excise with the Enforcement Section of the Immigration Department.

The joint operation was conducted around the waters off Pulau Cermin at the mouth of the Brunei River and Kampong Putat. The smuggling of these undeclared fruits and vegetables into the country, weighed up to about 7,000kg and cost approximately BND10,000.

The auction of the goods was held at the Royal Customs and Excise Department in Jalan Menteri Besar. All the undeclared fruits and vegetables were sold to the general public.

Haji Jamil said 14 boats were used to carry the undeclared fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables were placed into 14 lots to be auction. Each lot contained different kinds of local fruits and vegetables. Depending on the amount of goods per lot. The cheapest lot sold during the auction was BND20.

The owners of the boats were mainly foreigners and a small numbers of locals. They are currently under police custody and will be detained for further hearing on February 6, 2001.

Buyers at the fruit auction. PHOTO: JACKY LIM