DENGKIL – A large scale operation to curb illegal immigrants (PATI) at a construction site has led to the detention of 309 foreigners from various countries.
Not only they do not have valid travel documents, all foreign workers were living at the site without compliance to the standard operating procedures (SOP) and they were free to roam around while residing at a crowded area.
Director-General of Immigration, Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said, the operation to curb the spread of Covid-19 was made after receiving public complaints who are worried about the situation at the construction site.
719 foreign workers were inspected and from that amount, 309 were arrested during the operation. They are from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, India and Vietnam.
Speaking to the media after the integrated operation, he said that the surrounding environment of the workers’ accommodation is dirty, there was no basic amenities such as toilet and it has disorganised sewerage system. All those could help Covid-19 to spread fast.
“We are all not allowed to dine-in and we have various other SOP but if you look at this place, they can all roam freely and do whatever they want without any rule.
“They even have a coffee shop for them to hang out,” he said.
The integrated operation was also joined by other enforcement agencies such as the National Registration Department (JPN), Department of Labour (JTK), General Operations Force (PGA) and the Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM) with a total of 189 manpower.
According to Khairul Dzaimee, foreigners without valid travel documents are difficult to track if they are infected by Covid-19.
He said, 10 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card holders were also arrested in that operation. From that amount, they detected two fake UNHCR cards.
“A group of PATI realised the presence of the enforcers during the operation that started around 12.30 am this morning and they tried to escape by crashing the fence which caused them injuries. We have successfully detected and arrested all of them.
“We will bring the detainees to the Semenyih Depot shortly. We will run the swab test on them at the Putrajaya and Seremban District Health Centres before taking further actions until their deportation.
“Besides that, we will also summon their employer for further investigation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khairul Dzaimee said that 80 operations have been conducted throughout the Full Movement Control Order since 1 June until 15 June and the Immigration had inspected 2,314 foreigners and arrested 217 PATI. –MalaysiaGazette