More than 2,000 foreigners deported from Brunei in 2012

By Ubaidillah Masli
The Brunei Times/Asia News Network
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013

BRUNEI - More than 2,000 people were deported from Brunei last year as a result of operations by the Immigration and National Registration Department (JIPK) and other enforcement agencies in the country, the department said in a statement.

The announcement came after a joint raid by the department and the Royal Customs and Excise Department and Religious Enforcement Section managed to stop an alleged drug user from escaping on Sunday.

According to the JIPK, 98 operations, code-named Ops Tangkas, were conducted in 2012.

Some 48 operations were conducted with other enforcement agencies, but JIPK did not clarify whether these were part of the 98 operations.

A total of 1,688 cases were investigated last year, resulting in 85 people being charged with offences and 30 people caned.

Caning and jail terms are among the punishments for overstaying in Brunei without valid travel documents.

A total of 2,047 people were deported in 2012, while $427,500 was collected in compound fines and $58,500 in court fines.

Operations this year will fall under the code name Ops Sergah, referring to a "cordial but firm" approach to the operations.

In the latest Ops Sergah JIPK 03/2013, 43 personnel from the three enforcement agencies raided four separate residences and rented rooms in Mukim Pengkalan Batu and Mukim Kilanas during a three-hour operation on Sunday.

Apart from consolidating their efforts and information, the operations were aimed at ensuring that foreign nationals were in Brunei on valid immigration passes and that foreign couples living together were legally wed, and identifying locations that potentially harboured contraband.

During the Sunday inspection, a local man attempted to flee, but was later captured.

Utensils believed to be used for the consumption of Methylamphetamine were found and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was contacted.

Following urine tests, two other local men who were in the rental room at the time tested positive for consuming the drug. All three men were brought to the NCB.

Meanwhile, two male foreign nationals have been detained at the capital's police station after they failed to produce travel documents with valid immigration passes.

Eleven "special passes" were also issued to foreign nationals whose identity cards or passports were confiscated pending further investigation.

Three customs cases involving three foreign nationals in possession of an unspecified number of cigarrette packs that did not feature the Brunei-issued health warning were recorded.

A bow and arrows, deemed "dangerous weapons", were also confiscated since the foreign owner did not have a valid permit for them. These cases were still under investigation by the Royal Customs and Excise Department, the JIPK said.

"The Law Enforcement Section of the JIPK will continuously carry out enforcement activities, either on its own or in concert with other enforcement agencies," the department said in the statement.

"Towards these enforcement activities, this department urges the public to provide information relating to immigration offences.

"All information and the name of the informer will be kept fully confidential."
The department received some 326 tip-offs in 2012.