KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Immigration Department is investigating why three tourists from China currently held at the Tawau Airport failed to have their passports stamped upon arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA).
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said she was alerted on the situation by Sabah Immigration director Datuk Dr Muhamad Sade Mohamad Amin.
The tourists arrived in Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday last week (Jan 1) and flew to Tawau the same day. They were scheduled to return to Hong Kong on Monday (Jan 6).
"The status of these three tourists is pending the completion of the investigation by the immigration authorities in Tawau.
“The state director has assured me that the trio will be released if they are found to have not committed any criminal offences," said Liew, who is also state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, in a statement.
Chinese Consul-General to Sabah Liang Caide has been informed on the matter.
Previously, negative reports emerged that four tourists from Shanghai had to endure 18 days of detention in Tawau in December when they arrived via KKIA without having their travel documents stamped.
Liew on Friday (Jan 3) then announced that her ministry and the Immigration Department had come up with several proposals as remedial measures to prevent foreign tourists failing to get their passports stamped upon entry.
Muhamad Sade was unreachable for further comments on the latest case.