National Task Force status to be known by middle of next year, says Armed Forces chief

KUALA LUMPUR: The decision on whether the National Task Force (NTF) led by the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) will be maintained will only be known by the middle of next year, says Chief of Defence Force Jen Tan Sri Affendi Buang (pic).

He said the NTF which was set up on an ad hoc basis had proven effective in curbing the entry of undocumented migrants through the operation codenamed Op Benteng, since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.

"If it is to be changed to another name after this, it is likely to involve some changes in the organisational structure.

"(Altough) There may be some organisational structure changes, the concept (conducting integrated operation with other enforcement agencies) will be maintained,” he told Bernama during his recent visit to the KD Lekiu vessel in conjunction with Op Benteng series 1/21 in Sector Five off the coast of Selangor.

On the numerous attempts by undocumented migrants to enter the country recently, Affendi said the NTF had mobilised additional assets to intensify Op Benteng.

He said there were several locations in Selangor which have identified as staging points of cross-border crimes or used by smugglers to carry out their activities on the west coast of the peninsula.

"Most of the cases in Selangor involved border encroachment attempts by undocumented migrants using local or foreign fishing boats,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jen Affendi said from January to June this year, NTF managed to foil attempts by 1,021 foreigners to illegally enter the country.

He added that some 1,739 foreigners have also been detained while attempting to enter the country illegally for the period of July to Dec 21 this year.- Bernama

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Affendi , MAF , illegal immigrants , NTF , Selangor


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