Riot and breakout in Bidor

IPOH: A group of Rohingya and Myanmar detainees attacked a security officer with rocks before they climbed over barbed wire fencing and escaped into an oil palm plantation at the temporary immigration depot in Bidor.

A total of 131 detainees fled the depot, with one of them killed in an accident along the North-South Expressway not far from the plantation on Thursday night.

ALSO READ: Only one escapee killed in crash

The remaining 435 detainees have since been moved to six other permanent depots, said Immigration Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh at a press conference yesterday.

“Based on our experience, the Rohingya detainees are more aggressive compared to the others, so we will segregate them in the future. We did so in the past, but we will do so more aggressively now. This also includes separations within the holding blocks. We do not want them to be grouped in one place,” he said.

When contacted by Bernama last night, Perak police chief Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri said seven escapees had been recaptured so far.

The Rela officer who was attacked with rocks suffered light injuries.

Hunt is on: Immigration officers inspecting a river near the immigration detention centre in Bidor after Rohingya and Myanmar refugees escaped the facility. — AFPHunt is on: Immigration officers inspecting a river near the immigration detention centre in Bidor after Rohingya and Myanmar refugees escaped the facility. — AFP

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

Ruslin said the 131 escapees (including the man killed while fleeing) had broken out of three of the eight blocks where they were housed.

They pushed through the metal gates before climbing over barbed wire fencing around them.

They then escaped into the palm oil plantation which leads to the highway some 2km away.

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

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

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

At the time of the escape, there were 14 officers stationed inside the depot blocks and another 28 outside.

“There are three layers of security, with the outside layer guarded by Rela members,” said Ruslin, adding that security at all depots will also be increased.

Asked if the guards on duty had weapons, Ruslin said the current department SOP state that guards are not to be armed with firearms.

He said the question of equipping guards with guns will be brought up in the department’s report and investigations.

“We will investigate the cause of this from all angles,” he said.

A similar incident occurred in 2022 when 528 undocumented migrants escaped from the now-closed temporary immigration depot in Sungai Bakap at the Penang-Kedah border.

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Rohingya , Myanmar detainees , Ruslin Jusoh , Bidor


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