Immigration detains 28 employers, 1,500 illegal workers


PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department has detained 1,509 illegal immigrants for various offences since the deadline to apply for the temporary Enforcement Card (E-Card) expired on June 30.

Director-general Mustafar Ali said the number of arrests was the outcome of 181 enforcement operations nationwide since July 1 until 8am this morning, involving the inspection of 5,278 foreigners.

“A total of 28 employers were also detained and 86 people were given notice to attend and give statements since the operation was carried out,” he said in a statement today.

The highest number of illegal immigrants detained were Bangladeshis (752), followed by Indonesians (195), Myanmars (117), Filipinos (50), Thais (45) and other countries.

He added there were 1,314 male illegal immigrants, 192 females and three children.

Mustafar said employers who hired illegal immigrants could be charged under the Immigration Act 1959/63 where they would be charged under four major offences.

These were namely under Section 55A for bringing illegal immigrants into the country, Section 55B for hiring illegal immigrants, Section 55E for allowing the illegal immigrants to enter and stay in the premises and Section 56 (1) (d) for protecting the illegal immigrants.

The employers could also be charged under Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007.

Meanwhile, Mustafar said the department had detected 38 cases of a new tactic of attempting to register the E-Card from illegal immigrants who had been sent back and blacklisted.

“They entered the country using illegal methods to join the E-Card registration programme.

“Their attempt to register was detected by the department through their fingerprints we have on record , which revealed their actual identity and blacklisted status.”

He said 40 illegal immigrants and two employers were detained for the offence.

“Members of the public with information on illegal immigrants or any information that can help in enforcement by the department are urged to provide the information.”