Security measures at Raffles Marina under review
The Singapore Police Force and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) are reviewing the security measures at Raffles Marina and identifying areas for improvement, said a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesman.
"Under the law, all authorised landing or departing points must put in place the necessary security measures to maintain the integrity of our border security and prevent unauthorised entry into or out of Singapore from their premises," the spokesman told The New Paper.
He said the ICA, Police Coast Guard, the Singapore Navy, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore work closely to safeguard Singapore's maritime security. This includes regular joint operations to check on vessels.
"Persons who attempt to breach our border security will be dealt with severely under our laws," he added.
To enter Singapore by sea, one can choose to sail to the 24-hour anchorages in Changi and near Sisters' Island, where ICA officers will facilitate immigration clearance.
The other option would be to seek immigration clearance at Raffles Marina, a gazetted landing and departing point for pleasure craft and yachts from 9am to 5pm.
Details of the vessel and its arrival time, as well as a crew and passenger list, must be sent to the marina ahead of time.
Last year, 2,890 vessels were detected and deterred from entering Singapore waters. Most of them had strayed off course and complied, the spokesman said.
A total of 32 people were arrested for entering Singapore waters illegally or attempting to land illegally by sea.
Professor Rohan Gunaratna at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said that while "Singapore's security system is one of the best in the world", the waterways are our Achilles' heel.
The head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research said: "Protecting the coast is a difficult task. Certainly, there is room for improvement."
When asked about the case, he said: "This incident will surely mean that the private yacht sector will come under greater scrutiny."