Tourists held at Changi Airport for carrying kids' toy water guns

By Hoang Vu   June 10, 2024 | 02:10 am PT
Tourists held at Changi Airport for carrying kids' toy water guns
People pass the control tower of Singapore's Changi Airport, Singapore, Jan. 18, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Edgar Su
A Singaporean woman recently said her family of four were held at Changi Airport after two water guns were found in their luggage after returning from holiday in Thailand.

In a video posted on her Instagram in late May, Rajah recalled her family experiences of being held by the airport police for bringing "controlled items" into the city-state, known for its strict immigration law.

She said her family arrived in Thailand for a six-day holiday where they joined the traditional Songkran water festival that celebrates the Thai New Year.

They had then brought the toy water guns used in the Thai festivities back in Singapore so that their kids could keep them as mementos.

But as they completed customs procedures at the airport's Terminal 2, they were asked to turn back and have their bags scanned again.

"Officers opened up all our bags, looking for the toy water guns," Rajah said.

Her husband was taken to a room and detained for about an hour and was asked to sign an acknowledgement slip and an advisory slip by the Singapore Police Force, confirming that he brought controlled items into the country and that they would be seized by the police.

According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website, toy and replica guns, including water guns, are listed as "controlled items."

Under Singapore's law, controlled goods require proper authorization from competent authorities before they may be imported into the city-state.

"I posted about the incident to warn others who may not be aware of the laws regarding toy guns and avoid potential hassles, like my family went through," Rajah added.

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