65 Illegal Immigrants Held in Ranau

RANAU: A total of 65 suspected illegal immigrants were arrested under the Integrated Compliance Operation at 10 locations in the Ranau district as of midnight yesterday, said Deputy Minister of Home Affairs II Jonathan Yasin.

He said in a statement today that the 28 men, 15 women, 11 boys and 11 girls were detained under the operation that was carried out based on public complaints received by the Sabah Immigration Department.

He said they were suspected of committing offences under the Immigration Act 1959/63 involving Section 6(1) (c) of entering and staying in Malaysia without a valid pass or permit; Section 15(1)(c) of staying in Malaysia after the expiry of a pass; and Section 56 (1)(l) of using and possessing any entry permits, passes, domestic travel documents or false certificates.

“A total of 67 Immigration officers, as well as 27 personnel from the People’s Volunteer Corps and four from the Civil Defence Force were involved in the operation, with 173 individuals inspected.

“The operation is targeted towards employers suspected of hiring and protecting illegal immigrants as well as syndicates bringing them into the country. Action will be taken in accordance with the law without compromise,” he said.

Jonathan said rigorous health screening processes, including COVID-19 screening tests on each detainee for a specified period, was also carried out to ensure there was no COVID-19 transmission before they were sent to the Immigration depot.

He said that a total of 601 operations had been carried out by the Sabah Immigration Department this year, with 1,061 illegal immigrants detained, 34 employers charged in court and 1,739 detained foreigners deported to their countries of origin.