41,018 illegal immigrants detained since January 1

CAMERON HIGHLANDS (Bernama) – The Immigration Department has detained 41,018 illegal immigrants of various nationalities in operations carried out nationwide from January 1 until yesterday.

The department’s Director-General Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the detention was the result of 12,659 operations with the inspection of 165,490 premises conducted across the nation.

He said Indonesians were among the most detained – 13,614, followed by Bangladeshis (8,748), Myanmar nationals (4,068), Filipinos (3,549), Thai nationals (2,791) and others (8,248).

“We are conducting day-to-day operations, but there are still employers who stubbornly employ as well as protect illegal immigrants and up to now 1,166 employers have been arrested the majority of whom have been charged,” he said.

He was speaking at a press conference after officiating the Cameron Highlands Immigration Office at Terminal Freesia, Tanah Rata yesterday.

Immigration Department Director-General Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali officiates the Cameron Highlands Immigration Office at Terminal Freesia, Tanah Rata. – BERNAMA

Mustafar said that via ‘Ops Gading’ conducted in Cameron Highlands throughout the year, 19 premises were inspected with 91 illegal immigrants detained as of last week.

He said the number increased over the same period last year, 71 illegal immigrants were detained through checks at 19 premises throughout the area.

Commenting on the opening of the 73rd Immigration office in the country, Mustafar said the office would benefit more than 35,000 residents to obtain passports in addition to facilitate employers to renew and manage the affairs of their foreign workers.

“This office is not only for the convenience of the community but also for the people who happen to be travelling here (Cameron Highlands) and want to apply for a passport besides visas and permits.

“As we know nearly 8,000 foreign workers are working here, so it is easier for employers to manage especially if their workers passports or work permits expire and so on,” he said.