Concerns that smugglers and human traffickers may usher Covid-19 wave in Sarawak

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

Illegal Indonesians caught during a recent raid in a plantation in Miri. -Pic by security forces

MIRI: There are concerns that smugglers and human traffickers from Kalimantan in Indonesia may bring in more Covid-19 cases into Sarawak.

The State Disaster Relief Committee secretariat, in its latest update, said there are many illegal Indonesians who are freely coming in and out of Sarawak via “jalan tikus and jalan gajah” (see below) along the Kalimantan-Sarawak border.

These "jalan tikus" (small and hidden jungle trails) and "jalan gajah" (big pathways) are being used to bring in illegal Indonesian workers and even goods into Sarawak, it said.

“These smugglers and human traffickers are not just security threats but also pose a health risk as they could bring in more Covid-19 cases into the state.

"These jalan tikus and jalan gajah need to be given urgent attention by our security forces, ” the secretariat said.

Over the weekend (Oct 17-18), police, army, Immigration and General Operation Force teams carried out checks throughout Sarawak to locate such illegal immigrants.

“The checks were carried out at plantations, construction sites, industrial sites and business premises state-wide.

“So far, 187 illegals have been arrested, ” the secretariat said.

There have been nine smuggling cases detected over the past few months and some RM12.6 mil worth of goods have been confiscated from these smugglers, it added.

The security forces and the immigration teams are intensifying their operations to weed out these illegal Indonesians, it added, as well as identifying and plugging their routes.

The main entry points at the Sarawak-Kalimantan border are at the Immigration checkpoints at Tebedu and Serikin in southern Sarawak and Bakelalan in northern Sarawak.

However, there are many illegal entry routes along the 1,000km-long porous mountainous border.

In terms of Covid-19, Sarawak has seen 19 deaths and about 760 infections so far.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 0
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

For the Emperor: Rare multi-crowned pineapples a prized offering for CNY
Veteran lawyer Gopal Sri Ram passes away at 79
Floods: Situation worsens in Johor as more victims displaced as of noon, Jan 29
Local-based Gagasan to be new 'home' for ex-Sabah Bersatu members, says Hajiji
Bling ring: Online jewellery racket busted, four nabbed
You said nothing when Umno sacked me without 'due process', Zaid tells ousted leaders
Motorist nabbed over hit-and-run that left two children badly hurt
Floods: Number of victims displaced in Johor rises to 2,511
Covid-19 Watch: 258 new cases, nationwide ICU bed usage at 63.5pc
MetMalaysia: Danger-level continuous heavy rain warning for Pahang, Johor until Jan 30

Others Also Read