18,000 rounded up since January
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.”
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.