past Woodlands Checkpoint She sneaks
FRIDAY, JAN 17
The woman drives from Malaysia in a red Malaysia-registered Perodua and arrives at the Woodlands Checkpoint at around 2pm.
But instead of stopping for an Immigration and Checkpoints (ICA) officer who was on duty, the 27-year-old Malaysian teacher simply tailgates another car in front of her, The New Paper understands. Both vehicles pass through before the barrier comes down.
She manages to leave the checkpoint without being stopped as the officers involved do not immediately raise an alarm.
It is only raised two minutes later and there is an immediate lockdown at the car arrival zone.
But by then, the woman has driven away and officers are unable to locate the car.
Nothing is heard about the woman for the next two days.
MONDAY, JAN 20
TNP understands that the woman tailgates a taxi in the afternoon before making her way to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) headquarters at Sherwood Road near Tanglin Road.
At around 2.30pm that day, she tailgates another car at the entrance of the MFA headquarters and makes it past the barrier.
The road leading to MFA's front gate is about 100m long and the ministry's entrance is manned by armed private security guards.
The woman drives into the MFA compound when the barriers are up, before being stopped by security personnel inside.
The police arrive soon after, but the woman, who appears calm, does not respond when told to get out of the car. Her doors are also locked.
Officers arrest her for trespassing and she is also investigated for evading immigration clearance.
TNP understands that efforts by the authorities to interview the woman have not been fruitful as she has hardly spoken a word.
It is later revealed that the woman has a history of mental illness, said the police and the ICA in a joint press statement yesterday.
With help from the Malaysian High Commission and the Royal Malaysia Police, they have contacted her loved ones in Malaysia who are on their way to Singapore to assist in investigations.
The police and the ICA said that even though there is no immediate threat to public safety, they have taken the case very seriously as it concerns the security of our borders.
The ICA also says that investigations are on-going and it is premature to draw a conclusion at this juncture.
"We will conduct a thorough investigation and further strengthen our security measures at the checkpoints to prevent a similar occurrence," says its spokesman.