PETALING JAYA: Immigration Department enforcers arrested 1,509 illegal immigrants since July 1 following the end of the E-Card application deadline.
Among those arrested were 752 Bangladeshis, 195 Indonesians, 117 Myanmar, 50 Filipinos, 45 Thais as well as other immigrants of various nationalities.
"They include 1,314 men, 192 women and three children,” said Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali (pix) in a statement.
He said that as of 8am Monday (July 3), 28 employers were also arrested while 86 people had been issued notices to give their statements.
Mustafar said the department has also detected a new tactic used by illegal workers who were previously blacklisted in order to apply for the E-Card.
“They try to sneak into the country through illegal channels in an attempt to register for the E-Card, hoping to get a legitimate work pass.
“However, we managed to identify their blacklisted-status through their fingerprints,” he said.
Mustafar said his team had managed to stamp out 38 such cases and arrested 40 illegal workers and two employers trying to hack the system.
Following the June 30 deadline, the department launched a massive enforcement operations to nab illegal workers and their employers.
Mustafar said the enforcement operations will continue and both illegal workers and employers caught will face stiff penalties.
“Employers caught flouting the law can be charged under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (Atipsom),” he said.
He said employers who hired illegals can also be charged under the Immigration Act 1959/63 under Sections 55A for illegally conveying a migrant, 55B for hiring illegal migrants, 55E for allowing migrants to enter and remain on the premises and 56(1)(d) for harbouring illegal migrants.
“Employers were given ample time to register their workers but they did not fully take this opportunity, so they will have to face the brunt of the law,” he said, reminding the public for information to help enforcers carry out their duties.
The E-Card, launched on Feb 15, functions as a temporary confirmation of employment for illegal workers and replaces valid travel documents from their countries.
The card is given out to employees for free and is valid until Feb 15, 2018.
The Immigration Department has reiterated that it would not extend the deadline for the E-Card application.
Did you find this article insightful?