If Singaporeans are detained in another country, the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) will do its best to help them, but they are advised to abide by foreign laws when abroad as MFA has limited powers overseas.
Prompted by the recent string of cases of Singaporeans arrested overseas, the MFA issued a Travel Notice on Wednesday (19 October) to remind citizens to respect the laws of the countries they visit.
The MFA stated that it will render appropriate consular assistance to Singaporeans who are arrested and detained overseas. However, it “cannot intervene in the legitimate law enforcement and judicial workings of another country”.
MFA services would typically include notifying the Singaporean citizens’ next-of-kin and helping them find a lawyer.
Singaporeans breaking the law in other countries could face lengthy trials, heavy fines, long prison sentences or even capital punishment in the case of drug-related offences, MFA said.