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Judicial CP - June 2004

Corpun file 13569

Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 13 June 2004

Midnight raid nets offenders

By Lyna Mohamad, Achong Tanjong and Rol Ezam

Pakistani men brought in by Immigration Enforcement Officers for further investigation during Ops Buru 35 launched on the stroke of midnight of July [sic] 11. Pic: Achong Tanjong

An Indian and a Pakistani national will become the first two offenders to bear the brunt of Brunei's tougher immigration laws. They were sentenced in the Bandar Magistrate's Court yesterday to Jerudong Prison for 3 months and are to receive 3 strokes of the cane after both pleaded guilty to overstaying in the country.

As the grace period given to immigration offenders ran out at midnight on June 11, 2004, the two were among four foreigners arrested to be prosecuted under the new amendment to the Immigration Act 15(1), which includes the harsher sentence of whipping for serious offences.

This signals the end of leniency for illegal immigrants, the Senior Chief Immigration Officer of the Enforcement Section stated. Eighty others had beaten the deadline and thus eluded whipping under the grace period given.

Indian national Kamaludeen AbuPakkar Abdul Ajjees, 28, was found to have remained in this country since December 19 last year while Pakistani Mian Jan Ali Akbar, 36, had unlawfully remained here since January 8, 2003.

The Immigration prosecutor said both had stayed in the state after the expiry of their social visit pass.

In an anomaly of sorts, one was nabbed in a raid while the other had surrendered himself. The Indian, Kamaludeen, was arrested by Immigration officers yesterday morning when he went to the department to report himself.

The Pakistani however was arrested at a rented house at No. 919, Spg 921 in Kg Sungai Belukut on the same day in a raid.

Underscoring the tougher laws, Ops Buru 35 was launched just after midnight and saw a total of 11 foreigners rounded up, three of whom were women, after travel documents produced failed to satisfy the law enforcement officers. Eighteen others were issued with special passes requiring them to report back to the Enforcement Unit for further screening.

In the raid lasting more than five hours, five foreigners, 3 women and 2 men, as well as a permanent resident and his live-in partner have been issued with special passes requiring them to report back to the Enforcement Unit for a charge of close proximity. Their cases will be transferred to the Syariah Office.

The Senior Chief Immigration Officer advised all employers not to employ immigration offenders. He sought the cooperation of the public in curbing illegal immigration activities by reporting any such crimes to the Enforcement hotline number at 2382555 or 2382777.

The Senior Chief also cautioned those still in hiding that the department will frequently conduct operations to track down any law violators. Up to the deadline of the grace period, he disclosed that more than 80 foreigners had surrendered themselves to Enforcement, thus escaping penalisation under the new amendment.

In details released, Pakistanis Mian Jan Md Ali Akbar and Shah Zarim Khan Azizur Rahman, 39 were taken into custody for staying illegally since the expiry of visit passes on January 7, 2003 and March 30, 2003, respectively.

The two men were arrested during Ops Buru 35 conducted by 16 Immigration Enforcement officers. Commencing just after midnight to 6am, the raid involved rented houses in Kg Sungai Kebun, Kg Bunut, Perpindahan Kg Mata-Mata, Kg Kiulap and Kg Sungai Belukut in Kota Baru.

Their fellow countryman, Hamayun Hj Babu, 45 was issued a special pass to report back for further questioning. If found to be abetting his two friends by giving them protection, shelter or food, he will be punishable under the Immigration Act 55 (1) (d).

Meanwhile, it was unfortunate for two who turned themselves in yesterday morning to Enforcement - Bangladeshi Humayun Kabir Hiddayet-Ullah, 39, whose visit pass expired on Nov 19, 2003 and Kamaludeen Abu Bakkar Abdul Ajjees who overstayed since Dec 19 2003. The four men arrested were brought to court yesterday afternoon and charged under the new endorsement of the Immigration Act 15 (1).

Immigration Enforcement officers checking documents of foreign workers in Kg Mata during Ops Buru 35 from July [sic] 12 midnight to 6am.

Pakistani men checked by Immigration Enforcement during Ops Buru 35. Photos by Achong Tanjong

Copyright © 2004 Brunei Press Sdn Bhd. All right reserved.

Corpun file 13727, BSB, 13 June 2004

Whipping For Two Under Brunei's Tough New Immigration Laws

Four immigrant offenders in Court. Two were ordered whipping yesterday.

Bandar Seri Begawan - An Indian and a Pakistani will become the first two offenders to bear the brunt of Bruneiís tougher immigration laws.

 Copyright © 2004 - Publicity Online Media  All rights reserved.

Corpun file 13728, 14 June 2004

Cane Locals Abusing Immigration Laws As Well Say Lawyers

By Ignatius Stephen

Bandar Seri Begawan - As tough immigration laws, including whipping, have come into force, some leading lawyers in the country while supporting the tightening of the laws also called for the remaining loopholes to be plugged.

Some locals are allegedly thriving on a racket whereby they act as sponsors for a fee. Some of the lawyers considered them as the root of the problem.

Immigration and Labour officials have warned that these are illegal actions and the perpetrators could be arrested for unauthorised possession of passports.

Nevertheless, some unscrupulous people who call themselves agents allegedly keep the passports and ask for money for arranging a work permit under someone else's labour quota.

If money is not paid the passport is not returned causing the victim to overstay.

To curb the abuse many people here are suggesting that the tough sentence be extended to those Deonle who are involved in this sort of scam.

In some instances, many are making a living of it and the general feeling is that these people should be dealt with equally as those who overstay.

An Indian and a Pakistani were the first to bear the brunt of Brunei's new tough immigration laws on Saturday when they were ordered to be whipped for overstaying.

The two, Kamaludeen Abu Pakar Abdul Ajjees, 28, an Indian national and Pakistani Mian Jan Ali Akbar, 36, pleaded guilty before Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrate's Court and were jailed three months and sentenced to three strokes of the cane.

The sentence signalled the end of leniency for illegal immigrants in the Sultanate who were given a whipping Amnesty under the new stringent laws. That ran out at midnight on Friday.

Some embassies have already warned its nationals on the gravity of the situation. This included the Philippines Embassy, which has posted stickers at all departure points to Brunei.

Copyright © 1999-2004  All rights reserved.

Corpun file 13691

Garavi Gujarat, London, 18 June 2004

India and Pakistan protest as Brunei flogs migrant workers

PAKISTAN and India have expressed concern about Brunei's harsh new laws that allow the flogging of foreign workers who overstay their visas.

Indians and Pakistanis -- who make up many of the migrant workers doing mostly menial jobs in this oil-rich sultanate -- were the first to be sentenced under the new rules that took effect last week.

Pakistani High Commissioner Badr-ud-Deen said he and other diplomats had asked Brunei to extend an amnesty that let overstayers to turn themselves in without punishment, to no avail. The amnesty ended June 12.

"We need more time to sort things out," he said. "The diplomatic community had asked for more time, preferably six months."

An Indian diplomat said whipping overstayers seemed disproportionate "to the magnitude of the offence."

He said many Indian workers in Brunei were illiterate and handed their passports to their employers when they arrived, so they were often unaware of visa requirements or if they'd overstayed.

On the day the amnesty expired, a magistrate sentenced two men, an Indian and a Pakistani, to three strokes with a rattan cane and three months in prison for overstaying their 90-day work visas.

It wasn't clear if the flogging had yet been carried out.

Brunei is a tiny country on the northeast coast of Borneo island. Its vast oil and gas reserves have made its 360,000 people among the richest per capita in the world.

Brunei relies on workers from less affluent countries to fill many of its menial jobs, such as labourers and maids.

In 2002, neighbouring Malaysia introduced similar harsh laws and expelled more than 300,000 people in a crackdown on illegal immigrants, blamed by officials for rising crime rates.

Copyright © 2004 Garavi Gujarat Publications Ltd and Garavi Gujarat Publication USA Inc

Corpun file 13612

Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 18 June 2004

PR gets 10 years, caning for theft

By Malai FadleyRizal

A 29-year-old permanent resident was jailed for 10 years and given 12 strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to a charge of theft before the High Court yesterday.

Prosecuting Officer Dk Hjh Hana Molina told Dato Judge Steven Chong the defendant, Kamarulzaman Bahrum, has 12 previous convictions under the Penal Code, one under the Poisons Act and one under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The defendant had admitted to stealing B$430 and RM$70 in cash and a mobile phone from a Chinese man.

Kamarulzaman and his brother had approached the Chinese man at a car park near a shop house area in Mile 1 on April 20, the prosecution said.

The defendant asked to borrow the man's mobile phone and returned it later.

Then, he asked whether they both could hitch a ride to a hotel.

The man refused at first, but after being asked persistently, he gave in.

He took both Kamarulzaman and his brother in his car driving towards Gadong but halfway out of the shop house area, the defendant asked to be dropped at the car park area in Kg. Tamoi and he did.

Upon reaching the place, the defendant asked why the Chinese man had earlier refused to give a ride to the defendant and his brother.

The man felt threatened with the defendant's aggressive attitude and offered to give $100 cash but the defendant took the wallet instead.

The man tried to drive away but the defendant took hold of the car key immediately whilst outside the car and took out all the money from the wallet as well as the mobile phone.

The defendant's brother then ran out of the car on seeing his brother's act. The defendant told the man to drive away after taking the money and the mobile phone.

Police arrested the defendant four days later.

Copyright © 2004 Brunei Press Sdn Bhd. All right reserved.

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