A BOATMAN and the three illegal immigrants he was smuggling into Singapore were arrested on Sunday when the boat they were in sank during a high-speed police chase.

The unlit speedboat was detected by officers from the Police Coast Guard (PCG) and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) at about 9.30pm, headed for Pulau Ubin.

When the vessel entered Singapore waters, the PCG's special-task squadron intercepted it. Despite repeated verbal warnings and the firing of flares, the boatman refused to stop. He performed several dangerous manoeuvres in an attempt to shake off his pursuers.

It was when he made a high-speed sharp turn that he lost control of his boat, throwing him and his three passengers overboard. The boat then sank.

The four people had to be plucked from the water by PCG officers.

Apart from the 28-year-old Malaysian boatman, the others arrested were Chinese nationals - a man and two women aged between 28 and 37. The trio did not have valid travel documents.

Illegal immigrants' boat sinks