JOHOR BARU: A total of 31 illegal immigrants and 13 people-smugglers were arrested in three joint operations by the police and other enforcement agencies.
Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the first operation was conducted on May 25 by the Armed Forces, where they arrested 17 illegal immigrants in Bandar Penawar, Kota Tinggi.
"The Indonesian men, aged 22 to 41, were found at Ladang Sungai Tengah and Ladang Tembikai in Tanjung Balau.
"Investigations conducted after the arrest led us to launch another operation the next day," he said in a press conference on Monday (June 1)
The second operation, conducted at Gugusan Adela, saw the arrest of seven illegal immigrants comprising five Indonesian men and two Indonesian women aged 19 to 38.
Comm Ayob added that three people-smugglers, aged 30 to 52, comprising one local man and two Indonesian men were also arrested.
"One of the Indonesian smugglers was found to have been active in Johor since 2018.
"He smuggles in and out some 250 illegal immigrants every month and charges RM750 per person," he said.
On May 28, a third operation was conducted in Felda Papan Timur, which saw eight people-smugglers and seven illegal immigrants arrested.
The last operation was conducted at Kampung Sungai Buntu Peneroka in Pontian, and resulted in the arrest of another two people-smugglers, both locals aged 56 and 64.
Comm Ayob said they police have also seized some 30 mobile phones, a Proton Saga, as well as RM990 and 755,000 rupiah (RM224) in cash.
"All suspects will be investigated under Sections 26A, 26H and 26J of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007.
"They will also be investigated under Section 6(1)(C) and 15(1(C) of the Immigration Act 1959," he said.
The operations were part of Ops Pintas Selatan, which involves the Armed Forces, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Customs Department and Immigration Department.
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful