Malaysia intensifies patrols in mangrove areas to curb migrant smuggling

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – Malaysian police have increased patrols and surveillance in mangrove areas across the country to curb the smuggling of illegal immigrants.

Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order (KDNKA) Director Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the General Operations Force (GOF) had been mobilised to carry out operations at all identified locations, including the mangrove areas.

“Their (syndicates’) location is always being changed, because they do not want to be detected by the authorities, but the police are constantly monitoring this activity,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

He said this when asked whether the migrant smuggling syndicates were now making the mangrove areas in Selangor a transit point for the illegals to enter and exit the country.

Last Friday, 84 illegal immigrants were nabbed at a mangrove swamp at Tambak Jawa, Selangor, while waiting for a boat to take them across the country’s border.

Prior to this police busted three of the country’s largest organised crime syndicates, suspected of being involved in the smuggling of migrants and gang robberies, with the arrest of 111 gang members including their leaders.

The three criminal groups are the Otong Gang which was active in Johor, the Halim Gang (Perak) and the Husen Maungdaw Gang (Penang). Meanwhile, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had earlier said 1,215 illegal immigrants and 215 smuggling agents (tekong) had been detained from May 1 to July 2 under Ops Benteng.