Johor Immigration Department arrests 214 illegal immigrants in raids on workers' settlement

PONTIAN: A total of 214 illegal immigrants have been arrested by the Johor Immigration Department during raids on workers' settlements near Kampung Belokok, here, and Jalan Lingkaran Dalam in Johor Baru.

Immigration Deputy Director-General (Operations) Jafri Embok Taha said 140 officers and department personnel conducted the first raid at 12.45am on Saturday (June 8).

He added that the department has also arrested two local men for harbouring illegal immigrants.

“The raid in Kampung Belokok was based on a public tip-off regarding illegal immigrants in the area. This was followed by two weeks of surveillance by department personnel and the drone unit.

“A total of 252 people were inspected, and 92 of them were arrested for various offences.

“We also arrested a 62-year-old local man under Section 56(1)(d) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for harbouring illegal immigrants,” he said.

Those detained included 30 men from China, four men from India, four men from Indonesia, 53 men from Bangladesh, and one man from Pakistan.

“Those arrested are aged from 20 to 40,” he said, adding that the settlement was located about 500 metres from a construction site where the illegal immigrants were working.

“We also believe that this settlement has been here for less than a year based on the construction’s progress,” he added.

Jafri said the second raid was conducted at 3.20am at a workers' settlement near Danga City Mall.

“This was also based on a public tip-off and two weeks of surveillance by the department.

“The second raid involved a larger number of workers. 725 people were inspected, and 122 were arrested for various immigration offences.

“Those arrested are aged from 25 to 40. We also arrested a 35-year-old local man under Section 56(1)(d) of the Immigration Act 1959/63,” he added.

The second raid saw the arrest of 70 men from Bangladesh, 31 men from Indonesia, 20 men from Myanmar, and one man from Pakistan.

“The team also arrested a man for having a fake United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card. The man claimed to be from Myanmar, but a background check revealed that he is from Bangladesh,” he added.

All of those arrested have been taken to the department headquarters in Setia Tropika, Johor Baru, for documentation.

“We would like to remind employers always to ensure that the foreign workers they hire are from a legal source,” he said, adding that some of the immigrants suffered minor injuries while trying to escape arrest.

The case is being investigated under Section 6(1)(c) and Section 15(1)(c) of the Immigration Act of 1959/63 for entering the country without valid travel documents and overstaying.

The operations were jointly conducted with other agencies, including the National Registration Department, Civil Defence Force, National Anti-Drugs Agency, and Rela.

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