Immigration & Customs Attaché Office

Contact Information:

Phone:  65-6476-9071
Fax:  65-6476-9188 / 9479
Website: Homeland Security Investigations ♦ Factsheet ♦  [ 563 KB PDF ]
E-mail Address:  Ice.singapore@dhs.gov

Mailing address:

  1.    U.S. mailing address: ICE Attaché
    Unit 4280, Box 2100
    DPO AP 96507-2100
  2.    Singapore address (DHL/FedX also): ICE Attaché Office
    American Embassy
    27 Napier Road
    Singapore 258508

Mission Statement

ICE is the principal criminal investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and one of the three Department components charged with the civil enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.  Our primary mission is to protect national security, public safety, and the integrity of our borders through the criminal and civil enforcement of Federal law governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.

Priorities, Goals, and Strategies for Fiscal Years 2010 Through 2014

Between fiscal years (FY) 2010 and 2014, ICE will prioritize its efforts on the first three homeland security missions identified in the 2010 Quadrennial Homeland Security Report:  (1) preventing terrorism and enhancing security; (2) securing and managing our borders; and (3) enforcing and administering our immigration laws.

Background

Formed in 2003 as part of the Federal Government’s response to the September 11th 2001 attacks, ICE is the largest investigative agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With more than 20,000 employees in over 400 offices in the U.S. and around the world, ICE plays a vital role in the DHS layered defense approach to protecting the U.S.  ICE combines innovative investigative techniques, new technological resources and a high level of professionalism to provide a wide range of resources to the public and to our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.

In 2010, ICE was reorganized into the following three separate divisions:

  • Homeland Security Investigations (HSI): HSI aligns the existing ICE offices that are primarily devoted to criminal investigation, namely the Offices of Intelligence, International Affairs, and Investigations.  The directorate will continue to pursue ICE’s existing role as DHS’ principal investigative program, with responsibility for ICE’s national security programs and ICE’s investigative authority over criminal violations of U.S. law relating to illicit trade, travel, immigration, and finance.  The directorate investigates violations of the employment verification laws and visa violations in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO):  ERO aligns the existing offices in ICE that are primarily devoted to civil immigration enforcement, namely the Office of Detention and Removal Operations and the Secure Communities program.  The directorate will ensure a coherent and consistent approach to civil immigration enforcement in a manner that prioritizes convicted criminals, fugitives and illegal re-entrants, and recent border violators.  The directorate oversees the agency’s detention system, removal flight operations, and efforts to locate aliens subject to criminal prosecution for illegal re-entry.
  • Management and Administration:  The directorate consists of the Offices of the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Information Officer, Human Capital, Acquisition Management, Policy, Privacy, Training and Development, National Firearms and Tactical Training Unit, Freedom of Information Act, the Chief Diversity Officer, and Equal Employment Opportunity.  These offices support the missions of HSI and ERO and provide sound agency management.  The directorate oversees management of ICE’s budget, expenditure of funds, accounting and finance, procurement, human resources and personnel, workforce recruitment, equal employment opportunity, information technology systems, facilities, property, equipment, and the identification and tracking of performance measurements.

ICE HSI International Affairs

ICE HSI International Affairs is a critical asset in the ICE mission, responsible for enhancing national security by conducting and coordinating international investigations involving transnational criminal organizations responsible for the illegal movement of people, goods, and technology, and serving as ICE’s liaison to counterparts in local government and law enforcement throughout the world.  As of May 2010, ICE HSI International Affairs had 63 attaché offices in 44 countries carrying out the ICE and DHS missions abroad.  In addition to the investigative and liaison responsibilities, ICE HSI Attaché offices around the world engage law enforcement and related training to foreign counterparts’ law enforcement agencies.

ICE HSI Regional Attache Singapore – Area of Responsibility (AOR)

ICE HSI Regional Attaché Singapore (HSISX), part of HSI International Affairs, is a regional attaché office with an AOR presently (May 2010) encompassing the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Fiji
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor-Leste
  • Vanuatu

In addition to the office located at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore, HSISX has a sub-office at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, as well as an ICE agent at the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

HSISX is responsible for conducting and supporting ICE HSI investigations and critical programs, as well as coordinating with foreign law enforcement, immigration, and customs counterparts.  HSISX supports other ICE, DHS, and USG components and initiatives, as well as develops criminal intelligence related to cross-border criminal activity.  HSISX coordinates and participates in training programs throughout its AOR, focusing on topics such as bulk cash smuggling, human trafficking and smuggling, counter-proliferation, intellectual property rights, and fraudulent documents to name a few.

ICE Investigative Responsibilties

A. Counter proliferation: One of ICE’s highest priorities is to prevent terrorist groups and hostile nations from illegally obtaining U.S. military products and sensitive technology, including weapons of mass destruction (WMD) components.  ICE’s HSI counter-proliferation investigative activities include the enforcement of U.S. laws involving the export of military items and controlled dual-use goods as well as exports to sanctioned or embargoed countries.  Counter proliferation investigation (CPI) priority programs address trafficking in WMD components and materials, sensitive dual-use commodities, and technologies sought by proliferant countries and terrorist groups.  Other programs address illegal exports of military equipment and spare parts to embargoed countries, significant financial and business transactions with proscribed countries and groups, and export enforcement training for private industry as well as state, local, and foreign agencies.

In fiscal years 2007 and 2008, ICE HSI special agents initiated a total of 2,352 criminal investigations into possible export violations. During that same period, ICE agents made 333 arrests and obtained 366 indictments that resulted in 256 convictions for export-related criminal violations, more than any other U.S. federal law enforcement agency. In addition, ICE agents conducted thousands of seizures of arms, military weaponry, and other sensitive commodities related to illegal export schemes, valued at over $61.7 million.  These efforts significantly contributed to preventing sensitive U.S. technologies as well as weapons from reaching the hands of terrorists, hostile countries and violent criminal organizations.

Through an industry outreach program called “Project Shield America,” ICE HSI special agents conduct presentations for U.S. manufacturers and exporters of arms and sensitive technology to educate them about export laws and to solicit their assistance in preventing illegal foreign acquisition of their products.

B. Child pornography/Child Sex Tourism:  Refers to images or films and in some cases writings depicting sexually explicit activities involving a child; as such, child pornography is a record of child sexual abuse. Abuse of the child occurs during the sexual acts which are recorded in the production of child pornography, and the effects of the abuse on the child (and continuing into maturity) are compounded by the wide distribution and lasting availability of photographs of the abuse.  Each year, millions of children fall prey to sexual predators. These young victims are left with permanent psychological, physical, and emotional scars. ICE targets child pornographers, child sex tourists and facilitators, human smugglers and traffickers of minors.  Seeking to bring an end to this criminal activity and protect children worldwide, ICE developed Operation Predator in 2003, an initiative to identify, investigate and arrest child predators and sexual offenders. Operation Predator draws on ICE’s unique investigative and enforcement authorities to safeguard children.

C. Human Trafficking: Human Trafficking is the practice of people being tricked, lured, coerced, or otherwise removed from their home or country and then forced to work with no or low payment or on terms which are highly exploitative.  It is also defined as sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.  The victims of human trafficking are used in a variety of situations, including prostitution, forced labor, (including bonded labor or debt bondage) and other forms of involuntary servitude. HSISX has made it one of its top priorities to identify and combat human trafficking in all its forms.  ICE HSI agents are aggressively meeting with Non Governmental Organizations and host government agencies to train personnel and identify trafficking with the goals of stopping it.

D. Human Smuggling: Alien smuggling is a term which is used to describe transportation of people across international borders to a non-official entry point of a destination country for a variety of reasons. Typically those being transported may not have adequate formal travel documents or prior approval to enter the destination country.  This offense includes bringing illegal aliens into a country, as well as the unlawful transportation and harboring of aliens already in a country illegally.  Human smugglers are often used by refugees fleeing persecution, although many people who are smuggled are seeking to better their employment and financial opportunities. However, with the growing restrictions on refugee policies worldwide, asylum seekers escaping persecution or extremely difficult living conditions are often interpreted as mere economic migrants.  In the fight against human smuggling, ICE HSI has been attacking human smuggling networks and organized crime syndicates to bring human smuggling to an end.

E. Financial Crimes: ICE’s financial investigations are aimed at detecting and disrupting criminal schemes used to conduct money laundering and financial crimes, which have become increasingly sophisticated as criminal and terrorist organizations employ a wide array of methods to earn, move and store illicit funding.  Bulk cash smuggling or BCS has emerged as a common strategy used by narcotics traffickers and other criminals seeking to move illicit proceeds across transnational borders.  ICE has taken a lead role in combating BCS, which is criminalized under the USA Patriot Act.  ICE’s unique authority for enforcement of border crimes places it at the forefront of BCS investigations, which ICE investigates by targeting transnational criminal organizations seeking to repatriate illicit proceeds.  ICE has also developed a series of Trade Transparency Units (TTUs) with international partners to aggressively target trade-based money laundering.

TTU serve as an information sharing system allowing for an exchange of trade data between ICE and its international partners to detect and track money laundering, trade fraud and contraband smuggling.  ICE has also made a priority of addressing money laundering through unlicensed money services businesses, which have long been used to transfer funds across borders and have proven to be easily exploited by criminal and terrorist organizations seeking to transfer illicit funds while evading government reporting. More information available on ICE website.

F. Intellectual Property Rights: ICE HSI plays a leading role in investigating the production, smuggling and distribution of counterfeit products and combating intellectual property rights (IPR) violations.  Some of the top commodities seized in ICE HSI IPR investigations are products that pose significant risks to public safety and security; counterfeit pharmaceuticals and critical technology components, such as computer chips for defense systems and airplane equipment, were among the top seized commodities in FY09 IPR investigations. In Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09), ICE launched 1,479 IPR investigations that resulted in 414 arrests, 164 indictments and 203 convictions, as well as the seizure of more than $62 million in counterfeit merchandise. ICE HSI agents use a variety of assets and resources to combat the counterfeiting problem, working with other U.S. law enforcement agencies, foreign counterparts, and the private sector in its efforts to address this crime.  ICE HSI also leads the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) in Arlington, Virginia, which stands at the forefront of the U.S. government’s response to global counterfeiting. Its mission is to ensure national security by protecting the health and safety of the United States public, and to stop predatory and unfair trade practices that threaten the global economy.

The IPR Center brings together in a single location the major U.S. agencies responsible for the enforcement of laws related to intellectual property crimes and customs trade fraud. These agencies include U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Department of Commerce, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Defense and Naval Criminal Investigative Services, the General Services Administration Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The government of Mexico is also an official partner of the IPR Center.

G. Counterfeit Documents:  In this area, ICE HSI investigates the manufacture, sale or use of counterfeit identity documents, such as fake visas, I-551 “Green Cards”, Employment Authorization cards, or passports, for immigration fraud or other criminal activity.  Document fraud also includes efforts to obtain genuine identity documents through fraudulent means. These activities have helped undocumented aliens, criminals and even terrorists evade detection and enter our society.  Document fraud often supports the crime of benefit fraud.  HSISX regularly meets with various foreign embassies and local law enforcement to discuss recent counterfeit document related crimes as well as other migration related trends.

H. Human Rights Issues:  Human rights are rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled.  All humans are endowed with certain entitlements merely by reason of being human.  There is now near-universal consensus that all individuals are entitled to certain basic rights under any circumstances. These include certain civil liberties and political rights, the most fundamental of which is the right to life and physical safety.   ICE HSI strives to identify and pursue Human Rights Violators (HRV) present in the U.S. or attempting to enter the U.S.  The Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit (HRVWCU) located at ICE Headquarters focuses on this issue and coordinates with various agencies to identify and locate HRVs.  HSISX works extensively with host governments and NGOs in identifying these violators.

Alert – If you have information on any of the listed above crimes please contact the ICE HSI Regional Attaché in Singapore at 65-6476-9071 or email Ice.singapore@dhs.gov.

ICE Training Programs

ICE HSI subject matter experts provide classroom and operational training for foreign border, immigration and law enforcement agencies throughout the world. ICE HSI Training provides training in the following areas:

A. Human Trafficking & Smuggling (TIP/HS)
B. Bulk Cash Smuggling (BCS)
C. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
D. Fraudulent Documents Identification (FDI)
F. Export Control Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS)
G. Counter Proliferation Investigations (CPI)
H. Cyber Crimes – Child Pornography
I. International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA)

For more information on any of the above programs, please visit the ICE website or contact the ICE HSI Regional Attaché Singapore Office at 65 6476-9071 or email Ice.singapore@dhs.gov.