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Tuas Checkpoint car crash: 2 passengers jailed for criminal trespass after fleeing scene

SINGAPORE — During the chaos that ensued after the car they were in crashed at Tuas Checkpoint last month, two foreign passengers tried to flee the scene instead of staying put as instructed by officers on the ground.

Ho Thi My Nhung and Chen Songqing tried to flee after the car they were in crashed into a motorcycle zone located at the Tuas Checkpoint Complex on April 8, 2022.

Ho Thi My Nhung and Chen Songqing tried to flee after the car they were in crashed into a motorcycle zone located at the Tuas Checkpoint Complex on April 8, 2022.

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SINGAPORE — During the chaos that ensued after the car they were in crashed at Tuas Checkpoint last month, two foreign passengers tried to flee the scene instead of staying put as instructed by officers on the ground.

On Thursday (May 5), Ho Thi My Nhung, a Vietnamese, and Chen Songqing, a China citizen, were each jailed for five weeks after being convicted of criminal trespass. 

One charge each of not presenting their passport to an immigration officer while entering the country was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Court documents showed that Ho and Chen were both travelling as passengers in a Malaysia-registered car driven by a 46-year-old Singaporean man, Teo Thiam Leng, on April 8 at about 2am.

Teo, who had allegedly escaped to Malaysia illegally sometime around 2017 due to an outstanding drug offence in Singapore, saw a police car with blinkers on while he was driving in Malaysia.

Assuming that the police officers would want to check on him because he was also involved in drug-related offences in the country, Teo allegedly sped off all the way towards the Malaysian checkpoint near the Second Link that connects to Tuas in Singapore.

Chen and Ho told Teo to stop the car, but the Singaporean sped through the Malaysian checkpoint.

As he headed toward Singapore, the Malaysian police car continued to give chase behind him, with loud hailers on and officers in the car repeating, “Stop the car, stop the car”.

Teo reached the A3 motorcycle zone located at the Tuas Checkpoint Complex at about 2.15am.

Three officers stationed at the entrance of the complex instructed Teo to stop the car, but he allegedly drove on until he crashed into one of the drop-arm barriers. One of the officers had to move away quickly to avoid getting hit by the car.

Court documents stated that Teo allegedly "continued to drive dangerously back and forth", crashing into the metal barriers and structures inside the motorcycle zone.

Chen and Ho got out of the car and were instructed by Sergeant Nur Asri Abdul Rahman, a uniformed officer with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, to move away to a safe distance and stay put.

Sergeant Asri later fell after the car driven by Teo allegedly reversed in his direction.

At this point, when they saw numerous uniformed officers rushing towards the scene with their batons drawn, Chen and Ho ignored Sergeant Asri’s earlier instruction to stay put and fled from the area because they “did not want to get into trouble” with the authorities, court documents stated.

As the officers were focused on containing Teo’s vehicle, they did not chase after Chen and Ho, who jumped off a parapet and illegally entered a zone restricted to cargo vehicles. The two were later arrested by another officer securing the area.

More than 15 law enforcement officers were activated and the Tuas Checkpoint Complex was under lockdown for close to 40 minutes such that traffic could not proceed because of this incident.

Anyone convicted of criminal trespass can be punished with a prison term of up to three months, fined up to S$1,500 or both.

Teo, the Singaporean driver, faces two charges, one of dangerous driving and one related to importing a controlled drug in 2016.

His case is scheduled for further mention on May 12.

Related topics

crime court trespass Tuas checkpoint ICA immigration

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