BUKIT KAYU HITAM: Since Op Benteng was implemented in May last year, the number of illegal immigrants arrested for attempting to enter the country has dropped by 35% compared with before the operation.
The army’s western field commander Muhammad Hafizuddeain Jantan said this proves that Op Benteng has closed off avenues and opportunities for illegal immigrants to cross into Malaysia illegally.
“All the steps taken under the operation impacted illegal immigrants trying to enter through smuggling trails along the country’s borders.
“In addition, since Op Benteng has been in effect from April 24 last year, the 2nd Division has successfully clamped down on cross-border criminal activities, including smuggling activities with seizures totalling RM24.2 million,” he told reporters here today.
Hafizuddeain said he was confident that the country’s borders will continue to be secure with the assistance of all security agencies, including the police, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Immigration Department.
He was officiating the land mobility asset handover ceremony to Op Benteng North Zone KTJ 2nd Division at the 2/2021 Series Pagar II Post 5 Tactical Company base, which was also attended by the 2nd Infantry Division Commander Arman Rumaizi Ahmad.
Hafizuddeain said in light of the effectiveness of the operation and analysis from the input gained, the armed forces have been supplied with mobility assets, including six All-Terrain Vehicles and a one tonne GS cargo truck.
“These assets match the operation’s needs in the area along the Malaysia-Thailand border, and will strengthen control at the border as well as facilitate movement over hilly terrain, enabling us to react faster.
“Future planning includes supplying drone assets to help increase monitoring at our country’s borders. For now, it is still in the planning stage but we will try to procure them soon,” he said.