KUCHING: The Sarawak Immigration Department arrested a total of 2,274 illegal immigrants from March to October this year.
Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas revealed that the department had conducted five operations throughout the state within a period of six months.
“As a result of the operations, 2,274 illegal immigrants were arrested for various offences. 1,250 of them did not have valid travel documents and passes; 867 overstayed in the state; 92 misused their passes; 42 were working on social passes and 23 had forged documents or fake passes.
“For these offences, 987 immigrants were deported to their country of origin; 910 of them were prosecuted and sentenced to prison; 202 are still under investigation and remand; and 175 were issued compounds,” he said at the daily Covid-19 update press conference on Monday.
The deputy chief minister also pointed out that 15 employers had been compounded while eight employers were charged in court. Besides that, 22 trafficking agents were also charged in court.
Uggah explained that the Immigration Department would continue its regular and integrated operations throughout Sarawak and take actions against any employer who violated the Immigration Act 1959/63.
On compounds issued to errant individuals who did not comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in public places, Uggah revealed that the police had issued 21 compounds, namely nine in Miri, four in Kuching, three in Padawan, two each in Kota Samarahan and Song and one in Betong.
“Apart from that, the Ministry of Local Government issued 129 verbal, written, and seizure warnings in areas under the supervision of various local councils,” he said.
Under Ops Benteng, 1,496 vehicles were inspected through seven roadblocks in six districts; two of the roadblocks were in Lawas and one each in Lundu, Bau, Serian, Sri Aman and Lubok Antu.