An increasing number of travellers entering Singapore are being caught carrying dangerous weapons, news reports said on Monday.
The Woodlands Checkpoint is particularly busy, with people carrying items they obtained in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, officials said, the dpa reported.
Penalties for possession of weapons and dangerous items range from fines to jail terms and even caning.
In many cases, the travellers intend no harm with items such as toy guns or pistol-shaped cigarette lighters, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) inspector Karta Singh Sahota told the Straits Times.
He described a Malaysian woman who wore a belt made of 100 empty bullet cartridges and called it a fashion accessory.
"The empty cartridges can always be filled with gunpowder and used to hurt someone," he was quoted as saying.
Replica guns, metal nightsticks and knives top the list of most frequently seized items, the report said. Others include ninja darts, pepper sprays and crossbows.
Many travellers tell ICA officers they were unaware such items were illegal and purchased them as gifts or ornaments in a neighbouring country.
During the first half of this year, 41 people were arrested for possessing firearms and ammunition. Another 153 people were arrested for possessing weapons such as knives.