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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Oct 19: Some 187 illegal immigrants were arrested following a large scale operation to combat the entry of illegal immigrants into Sarawak.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the State Immigration Department had launched a large scale and simultaneous operation throughout the state last weekend (October 17-18).
“The operation was conducted in the Kuching, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Mukah, Sibu, Kapit, Bintulu, Miri and Limbang divisions.
“A total of 36 premises from the construction, plantation, industries and businesses were checked.
“A total of 187 illegal immigrants were being arrested as a result of the operation for offences under Section 6(1)(c) Immigration Act 1959/63 for not possessing documents or valid pass and Section 15(1)(c) of the same Act for overstaying in Malaysia,” he said during a press conference here today.
Uggah, who is State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said the State Immigration Department will not be compromising any individual who violated the Immigration Act.
He added the department will take stern action against employers who hired illegal immigrants and individuals who tried to protect illegal immigrants.
Uggah who is also Modern Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister noted that the State Health Department in collaboration with the Royal Malaysia Police, State Immigration Department and other enforcement departments had on October 15 conducted a spot check at a construction site near the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).
He said a total of 271 persons including 27 illegal immigrants from the construction site have been tested for Covid-19 and their initial test results were negative.
Apart from that, Uggah said more security personnel will be deployed along the Sarawak-Indonesia border to prevent illegal immigrants from coming over the state through rat trails and illegal routes.
He disclosed that since the Op Benteng was implemented on May 21, a total of 221 illegal immigrants have been captured while 29 illegal immigrants have been kicked out.
Out of that tally, Uggah revealed that there were nine cases which involved the smuggling of 215 confiscated items valued at RM12.83 million.—DayakDaily