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Published: Wednesday December 11, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday December 11, 2013 MYT 10:05:04 AM

Malaysia an illegal transit point for foreigners

Joining hands: Zulkifili (right) and Yannopoulos (second from left) launching the joint operation between ACBPS and MMEA to eradicate human trafficking at the MMEA jetty in Kuala Linggi. — Bernama

Joining hands: Zulkifili (right) and Yannopoulos (second from left) launching the joint operation between ACBPS and MMEA to eradicate human trafficking at the MMEA jetty in Kuala Linggi. — Bernama

MALACCA: Canberra says that 60% of foreigners in human trafficking cases used illegal entry points along Malay­sia’s shorelines to gain entry into Aus­tralia.

Australia’s Custom and Border Protections (ACBPS) senior liaison officer Danielle Yannopoulos said these foreigners entered legally into Malaysia via the KL International Airport and Malaysia-Thailand border before going by sea to Indonesia.

From there, they headed to Christmas Island and Darwin in Australia to appeal for refugee status.

Yannopolous said Canberra arrived at the conclusion based on information provided by foreigners rounded-up in Christmas Island by Australian authorities.

“The majority of them revealed that they gained legitimate entry via KLIA before embarking on boat journeys to illegally gain entry into Australia,” said Yannopoulos.

She said this was one “piece of puzzle” that the department wanted to resolve to fully eradicate human trafficking.

“We have decided to work closely with the Malaysian Maritime Enfor­cement Agency to realise a zero-illegal entry into Australia from now,” she said after sealing a working relationship between ACBPS and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in Kuala Linggi, near here, yesterday.

MMEA was represented by its Criminal Investigation Units director Datuk Zulkifili Abu Bakar.

Yannopolous said her agency considered the close working relationship with Malaysian authorities as imperative.

Zulkilfli said MMEA had resolved 10 human trafficking cases and 26 migrant smuggling cases from 2010 to October 2013.

He said 564 foreigners, who tried to depart from Malaysian shorelines, were detained during the same period.

Tags / Keywords: Politics, canberra

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