Bidor breakout: Four of escaped detainees recaptured, 127 still at large, says Immigration Dept

PUTRAJAYA: Four of the 131 illegal immigrant detainees that escaped from a depot in Perak have been recaptured, the Immigration Department says.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh, at a press conference Friday (Feb 2), said that this was the latest development as of 4pm.

He added that the four were currently being processed to confirm their identities.

On the deceased detainee who died in a road accident during his escape, Ruslin confirmed that he was of Rohingya descent, aged 33.

On immediate action, the department has transferred all remaining detainees from the Temporary Immigration Depot in Bidor.

ALSO READ: Police intensifying search for escaped detainees in Bidor

"We have moved the remaining 435 detainees to six other permanent depots," he said.

Among the facilities that the detainees have been transferred to are the depots in Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Pahang.

Security has also been beefed up on all other depots in the country, especially the 12 permanent ones in Peninsular Malaysia.

He said that the cause of the riot is still under investigation, but as of now, the department has determined that the detainees had broken out of three of the eight blocks in the depot.

They broke out in stages, including breaking through the metal gates there.

"We believe that they are still in the surrounding area and did not go far," he said.

The department has not ruled out that the escape had been planned in advance, and detainees who did not join in the riots will be questioned, he added.

No known issues have been reported from the depot in the last year as well.

At the time, there were a total of 14 officers stationed inside the depot blocks and a further 28 outside.

The guards, as per department SOPs, were not armed with firearms at the depot.

"We will investigate the cause of this from all angles. Based on our experience, the Rohingyan detainees were seen to be more aggressive compared to the others, so moving forward, we will separate them.

"We have done so in the past, but we will do so more aggressively now. This also includes separations within the holding blocs.

"We do not want them to group up in one place," he said, adding that weaknesses will also be addressed.

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