KUALA LUMPUR: About 125 illegal immigrants were nabbed in a raid as the Immigration Department stepped up its enforcement ahead of the deadline for the Enforcement Card (E-card) registration.
The department’s director-general, Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, said such raids were a daily routine now as the number of illegals was rising.
“Many of them abuse their student visas to find work here and overstay,” he told reporters at a shopping centre in the Bukit Bintang area here yesterday.
Around 350 people were checked and 125 people, including 10 women, were arrested.
The group included nationals from Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Afghanistan.
Mustafar said his department was working closely with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to track down the employers and premises owners who either hired or rented shop lots to foreigners without proper documents.
“Many warnings have been given already. We will be taking serious action against them now,” he said, adding that this could even include freezing the culprits’ assets.
“We will continue our efforts in stopping this problem,” he said.
Mustafar said so far this year, 5,908 raids have been conducted with 62,654 foreigners checked and 17,971 of them arrested.
June 30 is the deadline for the E-card registration.
It is a rehiring programme that was introduced by the department in February this year. Under the programme, employers can apply to hire illegal immigrants legally.
The programme is only open to illegal immigrants in Peninsular Malaysia and only for those with employers listed in five selected economic sectors.