Seah Ah Kuan v Public Prosecutor

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeP Siva Shanmugam
Judgment Date27 February 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGDC 62
Citation[2001] SGDC 62
Published date19 September 2003


Grounds of Decision


1. The accused claimed trial to a charge of employing an illegal immigrant, namely a PRC national, an offence under Section 57(1)(e) of the Immigration Act (Chapter 133) punishable under Section 57(1)(ii) of the Immigration Act.

2. The charge against the accused reads as follows :

" You, Seah Ah Kuan, are charged that you, on 1 Sep 00 and 19 Sep 00, at a coffeeshop styled "Liu Fu Restaurant", located at Blk 921 Yishun Ctr #01-237, Singapore, did employ one Kang Yi Ping, F/35 yrs, a PRC national, as a helper, a person who acted in contravention of Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act, Chapter 133 (1985 Edition), by entering Singapore without being in possession of a valid Visit Pass, and whom you had reasonable grounds for believing to be a person who has acted in contravention of Section 6(1)(c) of the Act, and you have thereby committed an offence under Section 57(1)(e) of the Immigration Act, Chapter 133 and punishable under Section 57(1)(ii) of the said Act."

3. At the conclusion of the trial the court convicted the accused and sentenced her to imprisonment for a term of 7 months.


4. The prosecution's case was that the accused had employed an illegal immigrant namely a female PRC national one Kang Yi Ping from 1 September to 19 September 2000 at her drinks stall at Liu Fu Restaurant located at Blk 921, Yishun Centre.

5. Arresting Officer PW1 Sgt Lim Chin Mun testified that he on 19 September he observed Ms Kang taking orders for drinks at the said premises and conveying these orders to the accused.

6. Ms Kang subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge of being an illegal immigrant. She was convicted and subsequently repatriated.

7. The prosecution also adduced as evidence, the accused's Section 121 Criminal Procedure Code statement P3. In P3 the accused admitted to employing Ms Kong from 1 to 19 September. She also admitted that she only checked the work permit of Ms Kang.


8. The accused did not deny employing Ms Kang. She stated that prior to employing her, Ms Kang had shown her a Blue identity card suggesting that she was a permanent resident in Singapore. She then took down the particulars of Ms Kang on a piece of paper D1. It was submitted that in so doing the accused had satisfied the test of due diligence as required under the Act.

9. She claimed that her statement P3 was involuntary and inaccurate.


Determination on the Voluntariness of P 3

10. The prosecution had sought to adduce the accused's long statement P3 as part of its case. The voluntariness of this statement was challenged by the accused. Following a voir dire I ruled that the accused made the statement P3 voluntarily. I shall here state my reasons

11. PW2 Stanley Yeo Ping Hoo, the investigating officer of the case stated that on 19/9/00 following the arrest of the accused and Ms Kang, he had commenced the recording of the statement from the accused at 8 pm at the interview room in Ang Mo Kio Police Station. The recording ended at 8.45 pm. The accused was handcuffed to Ms Kang while her statement was recorded. Mr Yeo stated he did not make any threat, inducement or promise to the accused in the course of recording...

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