Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether law enforcement agencies are empowered to impound the passports of ex-inmates who have been released from prison; (b) if so, pursuant to which laws and under what circumstances; and (c) what are the factors which will be considered when such a person applies to law enforcement agencies for the release of his or her passport.
Mr K Shanmugam: Law enforcement agencies (LEA) may impound the passport of individuals to facilitate investigations if there are reasonable grounds to believe the individual has committed an offence. This is pursuant to section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
An individual’s passport may also be impounded as a condition of bail or personal bond, pursuant to Section 94 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
LEAs also have the powers to impound passports for the purposes of recovery of duties or taxes owed pursuant to provisions under relevant Acts, such as the Stamp Duties Act, Income Tax Act, and the Goods and Services Tax Act.
The conditions above apply regardless whether an individual was previously incarcerated.
LEAs will consider applications for the release of an impounded passport on a case-by-case basis.
Ministry of Home Affairs
8 November 2022