18,000 rounded up since Jan­uary

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The Immigration Depart­ment rounded up al­most 18,000 il­le­gal im­mi­grants dur­ing op­er­a­tions be­tween Jan 1 and Tues­day.

A to­tal of 5,908 op­er­a­tions saw 62,654 for­eign­ers checked, in which 17,971 were de­tained, with In­done­sians and Bangladeshis mak­ing up the ma­jor­ity.

Most of those de­tained did not have valid travel doc­u­ments or had ex­pired pass­ports.

Immigration Depart­ment di­rec­tor-gen­eral Datuk Musta­far Ali said 19,457 im­mi­grants were de­ported to their home coun­tries. Ac­tion was taken against 497 em­ploy­ers for hir­ing il­le­gal work­ers.

In the lat­est op­er­a­tion yes­ter­day, the depart­ment ar­rested 125 il­le­gal im­mi­grants at two dig­i­tal malls in Jalan Imbi.

Musta­far, who led the two-hour op­er­a­tion that be­gan at 3pm, said they were de­tained for, among oth­ers, not hav­ing valid doc­u­men­ta­tion, over­stay­ing, be­ing in pos­ses­sion of ex­pired pass­ports and mis­us­ing travel passes.

He said the op­er­a­tions were a step to­wards pre­vent­ing il­le­gal im­mi­grants from flood­ing into the coun­try, adding the sit­u­a­tion was com­pounded by em­ploy­ers who hired il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

On an­other mat­ter, Musta­far said the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for En­force­ment Cards was still low, with only about 85,000 il­le­gal im­mi­grants reg­is­tered.

“Our tar­get is to have be­tween 400,0000 and 600,000 il­le­gal im­mi­grants reg­is­tered be­fore June 30. The Immigration Depart­ment will not ex­tend the reg­is­tra­tion pe­riod for the pro­gramme.”

BY AIZUDDIN SAAD PIC

Immigration Depart­ment di­rec­tor-gen­eral Datuk Musta­far Ali (right) check­ing the doc­u­ments of some of the 125 il­le­gal im­mi­grants ar­rested at two dig­i­tal malls in Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur, yes­ter­day.

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