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Dept gets order to round up 7,000 illegals this year
Published on: Sunday, February 09, 2020
By: Neil Chan
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KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman said Immigration and other enforcement authorities have been set a target to arrest at least 7,000 illegal immigrants in Sabah for 2020.

“If they fail to reach this target by the end of this year, an investigation will be conducted. We will not compromise on matters with regard to illegal immigrants, regardless of their race and religion,” he said adding that total of 487 people were inspected during the crackdown and 62 individuals comprising 54 Filipinos, three Indonesians, two Chinese nationals, two Pakistani and a Thai national, were detained for not having proper documents. 

He said the wide expanse of the coastal area in the east of Sabah, stretching for over 1,700 kilometres, has contributed to the existence of “rat trails” (hidden trails) to sneak in illegals into the State.

“This has been our long-standing obstacle in dealing with the entry of illegals into the State.

“These individuals will be hunted down and if they are found to be involved with the illegals, then stern action will be taken against them,” he said.

He said the Immigration and relevant authorities have been told to investigate backdoor routes into Sabah and to seal them in a bid to stop illegal immigrants from coming in.

He said suspects nabbed have informed authorities that they entered via such illegal routes following a crackdown on illegal immigrants in various locations around the city from late Friday to early Saturday.

He said some of them claimed there are people inside Sabah, which we believe includes Malaysians, who facilitate their illegal entry for monetary gains, among others.

“This is an act of treason and we want to unearth them, because they are helping illegal immigrants enter Sabah,” he said.

Mohd Azis, who is also the Sepanggar MP, said the police and Immigration Department knew some of the rat trails often used by illegals to enter the State.

“Due to the wide expanse of the coastal area in the east of Sabah, this has contributed to the existence of new rat trails that we have to locate and close, to prevent illegals from entering the State,” he said.

Mohd Azis also said that throughout last year, the Sabah Immigration Department had carried out 1,199 enforcement operations against illegals in the State and a total of 28,555 individuals were inspected.

He said of the total, 4,180 illegals and 23 employers were arrested while 12,230 others were deported back to their countries of origin and he wanted efforts to flush out the illegals to continue. 

Also present was Sabah Immigration Director Datuk Dr Muhamad Sade Mohamad Amin.



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