Attempts to smuggle in foreign workers foiled

SERIAN: Police have thwarted attempts by two tekongs (trafficking agents) to smuggle in six foreign workers illegally into the state.

District police chief DSP Aswandy Anis said those involved were arrested in two separate raids during Ops Benteng in Mongkos here on Monday and Wednesday.

“The first arrest involved a 44-year-old local man who brought an Indonesian man who had escaped a roadblock at Kampung Mongkos.

“After receiving information and chasing the suspect’s vehicle, the General Operations Force (GOF) team together with a team from the Serian district police headquarters (IPD) managed to detain the car at Jalan Kampung Seroban.

“Preliminary investigation found that the illegal immigrant entered Sarawak through a rat trail in Kampung Mongkos and was picked up by the suspect who was paid RM200 to send the man to work at an oil palm plantation in Simunjan.

Meanwhile, the second arrest involved a 23-year-old local man and five Indonesians in their 20s at Jalan Kampung Muara Mongkos.

“GOF team surveying at an oil palm plantation in Kampung Mongkos found a suspicious vehicle coming out of the plantation road and proceeded to follow the car for 10 minutes.

“It is suspected that the tekongs brought in the illegal workers through a rat trail with a fee of RM300 per foreigner to be sent to Kuching,” he explained.

He said both cases were being investigated under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007 and the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Aswandy stressed that IPD Serian together with the GOF would continue to take stern action against human trafficking agents involved in the illicit activity and called for the cooperation of locals to channel any information related to the entry of illegal immigrants into the state.