KOTA KINABALU: Security forces in Sabah's east coast continue to play a game of cat and mouse as illegal immigrants continue to attempt to sneak in using backdoor routes.
However, three Indonesians who managed to slip into Tawau from neighbouring Kalimantan were caught inside a car with their local agent at Kg Hidayat along Jalan Apas about 6km from the town at around 5.30am Saturday (June 12).
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) Commander Deputy Comm Datuk Ahmad Fuad Othman said the three people - two men and a woman - had admitted coming from Indonesia's Sungai Pancung (Kalimantan) and entered the sea route into the district.
He said the local man who had provided the transport was also arrested and his car was also seized and the suspects, aged between 25 and 57, would be investigated under the Immigration Act.
In another arrest, Tawau Marine police detained nine illegal immigrants who were being kept at a safe house at Kampung Tawau Lama during a raid at round 5.05am on Saturday.
Tawau Marine police chief Deputy Supt Mohd Nazari Ismail said they believed that the suspects had entered the district illegally.
Tawau is Sabah's worst hit district in terms of Covid-19 cases and the problem has continued to fester over the last two months.
High presence of security forces along the district's border with neighbouring Kalimantan has deterred illegal immigrants to slip into the state.