KOTA KINABALU: The Immigration Department will launch a massive crackdown to flush out illegal immigrants in Sabah following the Royal Commission of Investigation (RCI) report.
Its director-general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim said the department had identified hotspots for the operations in Sandakan, Tawau and Kota Kinabalu.
According to Mustafa, the agency would not wait for the establishment of a Permanent Committee and a Working Committee proposed by the RCI report before launching the operations.
He said it was important for the problems of illegal immigrants in Sabah to be resolved quickly.
"I want to stress that the operation will continue. Even before the RCI proceedings, we have been detaining and repatriating illegal immigrants.
"So, the operation will continue according to existing laws.
"The Immigration Department takes a positive stand on the RCI report.
"Apart from our regular operations, the RCI report will also be made as a guideline," he told reporters during a visit to the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) here on Thursday.
According to Mustafa, the Immigration Department in Sabah was capable of carrying out the task and if need be, the agency would cooperate with other enforcement agencies under the National Blue Ocean Strategy.
He said the department would also empower its intelligence unit in Sabah to flush out activities of illegal immigrants, apart from enhancing the implementation of the biometric system at seven entry points of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Mustafa said 17,086 illegal immigrants in Sabah had been repatriated to their countries of origin from January to November this year, in which 13,397 of them were Filipinos, Indonesians (3,435) and the remaining from other countries.
In another development, Mustafa, who is on his first visit to Sabah since his appointment to the current post on Nov 14, warned that there was no place in the department for officers and personnel who harbour illegal immigrants.
He said the agency would cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) through its Integrity Unit at the Immigration Department to monitor the movement of its officers and staff. - Bernama
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