Close watch on smuggling of immigrants syndicates

GOF Sarawak Brigade Commander SAC Mancha Ata. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: The General Operations Force (GOF) Sarawak Brigade is tracking down undocumented immigrant (Pati) smuggling syndicates orchestrated by locals.

GOF Sarawak Brigade Commander SAC Mancha Ata said they believed that the entries of Pati from Kalimantan, Indonesia into Sarawak through jalan tikus (illegal routes) and jalan gajah
(big roads) along the border were at the ‘invitation’ of syndicates which offered job opportunities to them.

“We have received information that certain individuals are involved in the smuggling of Pati and we are monitoring the situation,” he said in an exclusive interview with New Sarawak Tribune at the GOF Sarawak Brigade Headquarters here today.

He said based on the series of Pati arrests during the Covid-19 Ops Benteng operations, some of them had come to work in the state, especially in Kuching.

Mancha said that Pati who were detained while still at the border would be directly deported back to their places of origin.

Pati arrested in the state would be sent back to their country of origin through legitimate entry and exit points.

“If there is an arrest involving a case, such as a local who is a tekong or transporter bringing in Pati, then this will be brought to court. But if there is no case, we will detain them and expel them,” he said.

He said during the Covid-19 Ops Benteng operations, GOF Sarawak Brigade arrested 151 Pati consisting of 142 men and nine women.

He urged members of the public to cooperate with GOF by channelling information regarding the presence of Pati.
“We need information from the local residents as well, particularly those living along the border.

If they are aware of any Pati, they should report to us at our posts along the border,” said
Mancha.

He said such information from the public would complement GOF’s efforts to safeguard Sarawak’s borders.