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What should I do if I am an expat accused of a crime in Singapore?

If an expat is accused of a crime in Singapore, they should contact their embassy or consulate for assistance. They should also seek legal representation from a lawyer with experience in criminal defence in Singapore. Additionally, it is important for the expat to cooperate with the authorities and not to make any statements without the presence of their lawyer. They should also be aware that Singapore has strict laws and penalties for criminal offences, so it is important to take the accusation seriously and to follow all legal procedures properly.


It is generally known that Singapore has a low crime rate and a strict legal system. The Singaporean government has implemented strict laws and penalties for criminal offences in order to maintain a safe and secure environment for its citizens and visitors. Singapore is known for its strict laws, including those related to drug  offences, which carry severe penalties including the death penalty (however, in the rarest of rare cases). The criminal justice system in Singapore is also known to be efficient, with a high conviction rate.

Crimes committed by expats  in Singapore can include a variety of  offences, such as drug trafficking, theft, and financial crimes. Expats  are subject to the same laws and penalties as Singaporean citizens. However, it is important to note that the overall crime rate in Singapore is relatively low and the majority of expats do not commit crimes.

Crimes that have been committed by expats

Singapore has a reputation for being a safe and orderly country, with a low crime rate. The government has strict laws and harsh penalties for criminal  offences, which serve as a deterrent for would-be offenders. However, like any country, Singapore does have some crime, and expats are not immune to committing crimes.

Drug trafficking is one of the most serious crimes in Singapore and carries the death penalty, in certain cases. Expats have been arrested for drug trafficking in Singapore in the past.

Theft and financial crimes are other types of crimes that  often involve expats in Singapore. These include embezzlement, fraud, and money laundering. The penalties for these crimes can be severe, including fines and imprisonment.

Expats who break the law in Singapore may  face additional penalties, such as deportation and being barred from re-entering the country. Singapore has a zero-tolerance policy towards crime, and expats found guilty of a criminal offence can expect to be dealt with harshly.

What to do as an expat

As an expat living in Singapore, it can be overwhelming to find one accused of a crime. The legal process can be confusing and daunting. However, it is important to remember that an expat has rights and there are steps one can take to protect oneself and one’s interests.

First and foremost, it is important to contact the home country’s embassy or consulate in Singapore for assistance. In cases of expats being accused of a crime, it is the responsibility of the home country to provide legal backing. They can provide the expat with information on legal representation, as well as consular assistance and support.

It is also important to seek legal representation from a lawyer with experience in criminal defence in Singapore. A good lawyer will be able to advise the expat accused of any crime on his rights , the legal process, and the potential consequences of the charges against the expat.

It’ is also important to cooperate with the authorities. However, the expat should ensure not to make any statements or answer any questions without the presence of a lawyer. Legal representation is a must, be it for an expat or a citizen of Singapore.

Anything that the expat says will be used against him in the court of law in Singapore and it is important to have legal representation to ensure that their rights are protected.

It is also important to remember that the legal process in Singapore can be quite different from  what is being practised in the expat’s home country.

In Singapore, criminal offences carry severe penalties, including imprisonment and fines. In some cases, caning may also be imposed as a punishment. Therefore, it is important to take the accusation seriously and to follow all legal procedures properly.

If an expat is found guilty, he may face additional penalties such as deportation, and it can have a lasting impact on his life, career and future travel.


To conclude, if a person is accused of a crime in Singapore as an expat, it is important to contact his embassy or consulate for assistance, seek legal representation, cooperate with the authorities, and understand that Singapore has strict laws and penalties for criminal offences. With the right help and guidance, one can navigate the legal process and protect his/her rights.

It is worth mentioning that Singapore has a high standard of living, and as a result, expats moving to Singapore are generally well-educated, highly-skilled and have a relatively high standard of living which reduces the likelihood of committing crimes.

Please note that this article does not constitute express or implied legal advice, whether in whole or in part. For your Free First Consultation or if you simply require more information, email us at


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