| Danial Norjidi |
ENFORCEMENT officers from seven agencies were involved in a joint operation dubbed Operasi Kikis JIPK 103/2014 Bersepadu 7 Agensi on Monday night.
The operation, led by the Acting Assistant Director of Immigration, involved a total of 99 officers comprising 17 officers from the Enforcement Section of the Immigration and National Registration Department, 19 from the Enforcement Section of the Royal Customs and Excise Department; 13 from the Narcotics Control Bureau; 19 Religious Enforcement officers; eight officers from the Enforcement Section of the Labour Department; nine officers from the Internal Security Department; and 19 officers from the Royal Brunei Police Force.
The operation took place at 10.30pm and ended at 4.30am yesterday morning. It targeted a rented house, rented rooms and a rented space at a shop house in the areas of Berakas and Bandar Seri Begawan.
Under the Department of Immigration and National Registration, 16 foreign nationals, two of whom are female, were detained by enforcement officers for further investigation after failing to present any documents with a valid immigration pass. Eleven special passes were issued, including two summons letters for employers for further investigation.
Further screening saw nine people released after their employers brought their passports containing valid working passes, while one foreign national was found to have an expired immigration pass.
It was also shared that during the operation, officers on duty had to break down a door of a rented room at Kg Serusop in Berakas, where a male foreign national was found. Inside, officers discovered a secret hole in the floor where they found a female foreign national hiding.
Both the man and the woman were detained for failing to produce any valid immigration passes. In addition, the two also failed to prove they were legally married and their case is being handled by Religious Enforcement officers.
Following further screening, it was ascertained that the woman involved was a house maid who had been reported as running away from her employers on June 14. She still has a valid working pass up until August 10, 2015. The case is still under investigation.
The statement from the Department of Immigration and National Registration highlighted that two cases of khalwat involving a pair of foreign nationals without proof of marriage is being handled by the Religious Enforcement, and if found guilty, they will face action under Chapter 196 of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013.
Meanwhile, another male foreign national who was reported to the Enforcement Section in Kuala Belait as a runaway employee by his employers was successfully detained at a rented room in Kg Delima Satu, Berakas during the operation. He was found to have an immigration stamp directing him out of the country, which expired on January 20 earlier this year. The case is also still under investigation and will be taken up in court.
Two male foreign nationals are still under Immigration custody as they wait for their employers to bring their passports. Meanwhile, the rest of those detained were released after their employers brought their passports forward. Under the Enforcement Section of the Labour Department, a total of eight foreign nationals, four house maids and four personal assistants residing away from their employers are mentioned. If they are found to have been working as freelancers, they will be considered as having misused their work permits and will be charged under Employment Order 2009.