Another illegal settlement uncovered - Community of Indonesians who lived in jungle for years detained

SEREMBAN: Another illegal settlement has been discovered, barely 25km from the one found just last month in Nilai.

It is believed that foreigners have been living in the settlement – the size of two football fields – near here for several years.

Yesterday, the Immigration Department detained 32 undocumented Indonesians in the illegal settlement.

State director Kennith Tan Ai Kiang said that an infant was among those detained. The rest were 16 men and 15 women.

“They chose a hidden area to avoid detection.

Nowhere left to hide: An aerial view of the illegal settlement near Seremban and (below) some of the undocumented foreigners detained in the raid. — Photos courtesy of the Immigration Department.Nowhere left to hide: An aerial view of the illegal settlement near Seremban and (below) some of the undocumented foreigners detained in the raid. — Photos courtesy of the Immigration Department.

“We also found tents put up in the jungle which we believe was to allow them to hide,” he said, adding that a total of 47 Indonesians were found living in the settlement.

Tan said several enforcement agencies were involved in the operation carried out at around 1am yesterday.

He added that officers had to walk about 1km through jungle to reach the settlement, which was located in hilly terrain.

“Some of the foreigners tried to flee when they noticed us but they were captured,” he said.

Tan said the authorities had received a tip-off from the public about the illegal settlement and the Immigration Department then conducted surveillance over a two-week period.

He said the authorities had yet to establish who owned the property on which the settlement was built.

“If it was built on government property, then we will ask the local council to demolish the dwellings in the area,” he said.

Tan said the illegals would be investigated under the Immigration Act, Passport Act 1966 and Immigration Rules 1963 for not having valid travel documents, overstaying and related offences.

They have been sent to the Immigration depot in Lenggeng while the matter is being probed.

On Feb 1, the Immigration Department detained 67 undocumented Indonesians in a raid in a secluded area in Nilai.

There were 11 men and 20 women, with the rest being children.

The raiding team had to walk 1.2km through jungle before they reached the area which had been turned into an Indonesian “settlement”.

There was also a school-like facility in the area where the children were taught the Indonesian syllabus.

The village was powered by several generator sets as it was located in a secluded area.

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