Monday, 10 March 2014

Second security breach at Woodlands in two months

Crash barrier failed to stop man who dashed through Woodlands Checkpoint

Mr Teo said he has directed the commissioner of ICA to act on this after the latest breach, which happened at about 4pm on Saturday

The failure of a security barrier was the key reason why a 65-year-old Malaysian driver in a gold Mercedes-Benz managed to breach the Woodlands Checkpoint on Saturday afternoon, even after two of the tyres were punctured.

Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said it is the first failure for the security barrier, which is used to prevent vehicles from passing.

In a statement, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean said measures to make Singapore's checkpoints more secure will be put in place as soon as possible.

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Malaysian who crashed through checkpoint to face two charges

A 64-year-old Malaysian driver who allegedly crashed through the security barrier at the Woodlands Checkpoint and entered Singapore on Saturday is expected to face two charges.

Local television Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reported that Tan Chu Seng, who is a Singapore permanent resident, is accused of committing two offences -- one count of acting rashly and another of vandalism.

Both alleged offences were said to have been committed at the Woodlands Checkpoint on Saturday at about 4.03pm when he arrived from Malaysia.

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Singapore Border Security Bypassed Once, Twice …
A view of the causeway bordering Malaysia’s southern state of Johor Bahru (background) and Singapore (foreground) on Nov. 26

At a busy border post on the Singaporean end of a causeway linking the island to Malaysia, immigration officials have learned that lightning can strike twice.

Less than two months after a Malaysian motorist breached security at Singapore’s Woodlands immigration checkpoint, another Malaysian driver blitzed past the same border crossing over the weekend.

Tan Chu Seng, 64, drove a gold-colored Mercedes Benz sedan through the checkpoint located at the city-state’s northern fringe on Saturday at roughly 4 p.m. local time, police and border authorities said. Mr. Tan, a permanent resident in Singapore, sped over a security barrier and evaded immigration officers who were trying to block his car.


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CHECKPOINT BREACH: 6 PRESSING QUESTIONS THAT HAS TO BE ANSWERED
There are six key questions that the Minister for Home Affairs has to answer regarding the latest checkpoint breach

1) The first incident happened less than 5 weeks ago, which was a major embarrassment to the Singaporean government. Given the breach, why was there no review of the system, which would reasonably have included a test of mechanical systems?

2) The facts of the escape was this: he was asked to open the spare tire compartment and he drove off. This implies that there was a contraband item in his boot whose nature was not known at that time. It could have been a bomb. In the "worse-case" scenario test, why was there no emergency action such as police roadblocks?

3) In a leaked video, the time that the 24 year-old Mercedes-Benz took approximately 17 seconds to break free from the barrier. It also showed that the police officers were just standing by looking confused. Why was there no decisive action to shoot the tire as what most police in other countries would have done?

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Singapore Border Security breach

In a statement released Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also minister for home affairs, said the latest security breach “reinforces the findings of the review after the January dash-through.

The alarm and barrier systems at the checkpoints are inadequate, and they need to be improved and strengthened considerably.”

‪In addition to improving the physical infrastructure at the checkpoint, Mr. Teo said officers need to be better trained to respond to breaches.

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DPM Teo “chides” ICA but it’s not good enough
In a statement issued on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean rebuked the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for allowing the second security breach at the Woodlands Checkpoint on Saturday in less than two months

The first incident was on 17 January when a Malaysian woman dashed through the checkpoint in her car, and was only arrested 3 days later.

Saturday’s breach “reinforces the findings of the review after the January dash-through,” DPM Teo said.

“The alarm and barrier systems at the checkpoints are inadequate, and they need to be improved and strengthened considerably,” said DPM Teo, who is also the Minister for Home Affairs. “Furthermore, the response protocols and training of officers at the checkpoint need to be improved sharply in parallel with the physical improvements.”


Crash barrier failed to stop man who dashed through Woodlands Checkpoint


A 65-year-old man managed to dash through Woodlands Checkpoint on Saturday even though one of the tyres of his car was punctured, because the crash barrier failed to stop him.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) at a briefing on Sunday said it is the first time the crash barrier failed to stop someone from driving through.

Four men are assisting police with investigations, along with the driver.


Police arrest man after vehicle dashes through Woodlands checkpoint
AFP News/Roslan Rahman - Armed policemen stand guard in Singapore, on July 18, 2012. A British magazine editor has been fined $8,000 for spitting at a Singapore police officer after an alcohol-fuelled Christmas party last year, his lawyer told AFP

Singapore poilce say they have arrested a 65-year old man after a vehicle arriving from Malaysia dashed through the Woodlands chekpoint, crashing through a security barrier.

In a post late Saturday night on their Facebook page, the police said that while undergoing customs check at about 4:05 pm, a Singapore-registered vehicle "deliberately drove off, injuring an officer who attempted to stop him from leaving".

The vehicle then crashed through the security barrier that was activated, they said.


Man arrested for dashing through Woodlands checkpoint



On 8 March 2014 at about 4.05pm, a Singapore-registered vehicle arriving from Malaysia cleared the immigration check, and whilst undergoing customs checks, deliberately drove off, injuring an officer who attempted to stop him from leaving. The vehicle then crashed through the security barrier that was activated and entered Singapore.

All police resources on the ground were alerted. An alert message was also disseminated to all taxi drivers to help the police look out for the vehicle.

Police recovered the vehicle, a gold coloured Mercedes Benz motorcar at 8.30 pm and arrested a 65-year-old man at 9.15 pm to assist in investigations following an islandwide police operation. Police are investigating the man for various offences, including Evasion of Customs Checks and Vandalism."


VIDEO: Mercedes Benz crashes through barrier and escape from team of helpless police officers at Woodlands checkpoint on 8 Mar 2014


Hardwarezone Forum, 8 Mar 2014

Police on Saturday evening arrested a 65-year-old man who drove through Woodlands Checkpoint while undergoing customs checks earlier, at about 4pm.

Police said the Singapore-registered Mercedes Benz arriving from Malaysia cleared immigration checks.

But while undergoing customs checks, the man drove off and crashed through the security barrier -- which was activated -- and entered Singapore. Police said an officer was hurt while trying to stop the driver. Full story


Second security breach at Woodlands Checkpoint in less than 2 months

Less than two months after a security breach at the Woodlands Checkpoint, a second breach took place on 8 March, Saturday.

This time, a Singapore-registered Mercedes-Benz took off while it was going through customs checks after having cleared the immigration check. The incident happened at 4.05pm.

An officer then attempted to stop the vehicle from leaving but the vehicle “crashed through the security barrier that was activated and entered Singapore”, according to local news reports.


POLICE ARRESTED DRIVER OF VEHICLE WHO DASHED THROUGH WOODLANDS CHECKPOINT

On 8 March 2014 at about 4.05pm, a Singapore-registered vehicle arriving from Malaysia cleared the immigration check, and whilst undergoing customs checks, deliberately drove off, injuring an officer who attempted to stop him from leaving. The vehicle then crashed through the security barrier that was activated and entered Singapore.

All police resources on the ground were alerted. An alert message was also disseminated to all taxi drivers to help the police look out for the vehicle.

Police recovered the vehicle, a gold coloured Mercedes Benz motorcar at 8.30 pm and arrested a 65-year-old man at 9.15 pm to assist in investigations following an islandwide police operation. Police are investigating the man for various offences, including Evasion of Customs Checks and Vandalism.


Another Woodlands Checkpoint breach, this time involving a gold Mercedes



A video uploaded onto Facebook this evening showed footage of a gold Mercedes breaching the Woodlands checkpoint barrier.

The incident occurred at around 4pm today. The gold Mercedes is a Singapore-registered vehicle that arrived from Malaysia.

After clearing the immigration check and undergoing customs checks, the driver of the Mercedes deliberately drove off.


2nd Woodlands Checkpoint security breach in 2 months

A 65-year-old man dashed through Woodlands Checkpoint yesterday (8 Mar) at about 4pm because the crash barrier failed to stop him. The police at the checkpoint also failed to stop him.

The Singapore-registered Mercedes Benz arriving from Malaysia cleared immigration checks initially. But while undergoing customs checks, the man suddenly drove off and crashed through the security barrier before taking off from the checkpoint and entering into Singapore.

Police said an officer was hurt while trying to stop the driver. It then alerted all ground resources, including sending an alert message to all taxi drivers to look out for the car. It’s probably the first time Police sent messages to all taxi drivers seeking their help.


The man in the golden Merc

After declaring that he was “deeply disappointed’’ with the first immigration breach which allowed a Malaysian woman to tour Singapore for days, DPM Teo Chee Hean has now given the ICA a “chiding’’ for the second breach on Friday. Anyway, that’s the word ST used in its headline to describe what DPM Teo thought of the breach in which a 65- year old man in a golden Merc drove through Woodlands with impunity.

I had visions of a Dad reprimanding his wayward but cute kid for doing something naughty. So it was with great relief when I read the term “sharp rebuke’’ in the ST story later. That’s better….

Reading today’s ST, TNP and TODAY, I am not sure if I had the full picture of what happened at Woodlands. Reading TNP was especially disheartening. Because the ICA and Police top cops weren’t particularly re-assuring about the level of security we have.


Woodlands checkpoint breached by 65 year old

According to the ICA Annual Report 2005, crash barriers and cat claws were installed as ‘anti-dash-through’ measures to stop ‘determined’ vehicles from dashing through the checkpoint like how one does it countless times in the movies. The ‘heavy duty’ spike barriers, capable of RIPPING off the tyres and DESTROYING undercarriages, was put to the test in a demo against a mighty ten tonne truck, and passed with flying colours. ICA then concluded that their barriers would ensure that no vehicle, even the most ‘foolhardy and determined’ shall pass unharmed, that includes the risk of severe injury to the dasher. Unfortunately, even the spikiest of cat claws wasn’t enough to stop a 65 year old uncle from foiling the checkpoint boys in blue and eluding capture for FIVE HOURS. With a couple of punctured tyres too. I wonder how long people were waiting for cabs because they were deployed by ICA to manhunt instead of transporting people.

Just last month, there were already signs that the barriers were wonky, with one car bumper being mistakenly devastated by a spike attack for no rhyme or reason. It could have been a horrific disaster if the fuel tank were pierced by this death trap. Alas, the cat claws failed to perform on Saturday, sprung like a kitty swiping at a ball of wool instead of the fearsome killer of vermin that it’s made out to be.

Of course even if you had sophisticated electronic weaponry to paralyse any vehicle in its tracks without physical damage, it would still be utterly useless if the officer on duty just wasn’t paying enough attention to sound the damn alarm in the first place. Or took an astounding 2.5 minutes to trigger one after pondering on it, as what happened when Malaysian trespasser Nurul Ruhana Ishak slipped away in Jan this year. That’s half a minute longer than Blur’s entire ‘Song 2′. It’s SO much cheaper to get a troll or Gandalf to stand guard against potential trespassers.


Trust in ICA/Home Team continues to erode with another breach at Woodlands Check point

Two months ago when a Malaysian woman slipped past the same checkpoint, DPM Teo had called the security breach “unacceptable”. It appears that “unacceptable” is becoming the norm after a Singapore registered car crashed through the security barrier on Friday and was located only after 5 hours.

What happened after the January incident was ICA’s reaction which created daily huge jams and inconvenience to drivers on both sides of the causeway.

However, the government did not address systemic issues by punishing the rank and file instead of holding leadership accountable. It should not surprise anyone if a similar incident occurs in future because ‘applying band-aid to a gaping wound’ essentially solves nothing. The ability to address systemic issues by the government remains to be seen.


Causeway breach: Where does the buck stop?

It appears that the easiest way out is to punish frontline officers who make mistakes. Take the recent serious lapse in border security which allowed a Malaysian woman to enter Singapore illegally and only got arrested three days later.

After giving an account of how unacceptable errors and poor judgement led to the security breach, DPM and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean told Parliament “they have apologised”. This apology was presumably made by the Commissioner of ICA and Commissioner of Police, to whom DPM Teo had expressed his unhappiness.

Apologise to whom? That was not made clear. We can only presume that they apologised to their boss, DPM Teo. Meanwhile, the frontline officers responsible have been redeployed pending disciplinary proceedings.

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DPM Teo: It was serious error of judgment

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and police ground commanders made a serious error of judgment in deciding to treat this intrusion as a less serious immigration offence instead of a serious breach of border security as required in the protocol.

This was a major reason for the subsequent inadequate response which resulted in the vehicle and driver not being detected and arrested much earlier. Both ground commanders have been redeployed to non-operational posts pending disciplinary action.

Their supervising officers overseeing operations should also have realised this and acted to rectify the situation. They will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action, along with other officers involved in the incident.


In Singapore, the Mysterious Case of a Border-Security Breach



People look at the Singapore skyline from the skybridge of a public housing estate. A recent border-security breach has stirred concerns about shoddy policing in the orderly, low-crime city-state

A Malaysian motorist breached Singapore border security and eluded police for three days before being arrested this week while trespassing the city-state’s foreign ministry headquarters, in what officials described as a serious security lapse.

The incident drew opprobrium from government officials and citizens alike, and many Singaporeans have taken to social media to criticize what they perceive as shoddy policing in a country long reputed for orderliness and low crime.

Immigration and police officials have acknowledged shortcomings and pledged to remedy them.

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related:
Third Security Breach At Woodlands Checkpoint
Second security breach at Woodlands in two months
Serious Security Lapse At ICA Checkpoint
'High security' Woodlands Checkpoint security breach on 8 March 2014