572 illegal immigrants, 45 human traffickers arrested and deported in first half of 2021

Deportation of five PATIs at the Lundu-Indonesia border dated June 14, 2021.

KUCHING, June 21: Some 572 illegal immigrants (PATIs) as well as 45 local and foreign ‘tekong’ (human traffickers) were arrested and deported in the period of about six months from January to June, 2021.

Sarawak State Border Security Committee (SBSC) chairman Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said according to Sarawak Deputy Police Commissioner DCP Mancha Ata, these PATIs were caught using illegal routes (“jalan tikus”) to cross the Sarawak-Indonesia border.

Deportation of 11 PATIs at the Serian-Indonesia border dated June 17, 2021.

He said this was the result from integrated operations between the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), the General Operations Force (PGA), the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and the Sarawak Immigration Department in efforts to curb the entry of PATIs into Sarawak.

“The PATIs were arrested or deported under the Immigration Act 1959/63 and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

“Meanwhile, in the same period, 45 local and foreign ‘tekongs’ were arrested under the Anti-trafficking in Persons and Anti-smuggling of Migrants Act 2007,” he said in a statement today.

Deportation of 11 PATIs at the Tebedu-Indonesia border dated June 18, 2021.

Masing, who is also Minister for Infrastructure and Ports Developments, said the authorities called on the public to give information on any illegal entries.

He also took the opportunity to remind that sheltering or providing protection to any illegal immigrants is a serious crime. — DayakDaily