The seven-hour integrated operation which began at 2.30am involved the police, armed forces, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Immigration Department and the National Registration Department.
Esscom Commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said they were detained for not producing valid documents or had suspicious documents during the inspection. He said about 400 squatter houses have also been identified for demolition.
"Those detained were taken to the Lahad Datu Marine Police hall for screening and document confirmation by the Immigration Department," he said. According to Abdul Rashid, the operation is the largest after the restructuring of Esscom which involved the creation of two major components, namely security and defence management as well as enforcement and public action.
He said "Ops Gasak 26" also showed the Government's determination and commitment in flushing out illegals in the State, especially in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone).
"We will continue such operation from time to time to ensure Esszone is cleared of illegal immigrants.
Thus, all community leaders, especially village heads are advised not to conspire or protect illegals in their areas," he said.
Abdul Rashid there would be no compromise with any party, including village head, if found protecting illegals.
"If any party is found conspiring with illegals, we will report it to the Chief Minister who also the Esszone Chairman for further action," he said.
Also present were Esscom Deputy Commander Brig Jen Subari Tomo, Esscom Maritime Director First Admiral M Karunanithi, District Police Chief ACP Hamzah Ahmad and District Officer Iman Ali.