KOTA TINGGI: Marine police managed to intercept a group of 44 illegal immigrants including a child from returning back to their home country in two separate raids near Pengerang here.
Southern Region Two marine police Asst Comm Paul Khiu Khon Chiang said that in total, they detained 37 men, six women and a girl between the ages of two and 50 years, all Indonesians, during an operation early Friday morning.
He added that in the first raid, marine police arrested 20 illegal immigrants after they were found waiting along the coastline of Mados beach at around 12.15am.
ACP Khiu also said the team also conducted a raid along the coastline of Tanjung Kelisa near Bandar Penawar here where they spotted another 24 Indonesians at around 1.30am.
“Initial investigations found that the two groups were waiting for their boat to come and pick them up,” he said, adding all of them were brought to the Bandar Penawar police station for further investigations.
All of them did not have any identification documents when caught, he added.
ACP Khiu said that investigations were ongoing to identify the land tekong involved.
“The marine police are very serious in combating human trafficking and we will conduct continuous operations, he said, adding the case is being investigated under the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Amendment 2002).
Meanwhile, in a separate operation another 19 illegal Indonesia immigrants were caught hiding in the jungle near an oil palm plantation.
ACP Khiu said they caught 17 men and women between the ages of 20 and 50 years, an eight-year old boy and a nine-year old girl.
He said the suspects were detained on May 16, at around 12.30am during the operation codenamed Ops Landai.
“Initial investigation showed that the illegal immigrants were waiting for their long boat to Indonesia,’’ said ACP Khiu in a press statement.
He said the suspects are being detained at the Kota Tinggi Police District lock-up to assist in investigations.
The case is being investigated under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 and Immigration Act 1959/63 for failing to produce proper travel documents or having expired passport and leaving Malaysia through an illegal exit point.
ACP Khiu said marine police would beef up security around the shoreline along the east coast of Johor.