Illegal immigrants entering Sarawak via different routes

SAC Saini Bongkek

KUCHING: There are records of illegal immigrants re-entering Sarawak via different routes following their deportation.

Sarawak General Operations Force (GOF) commander SAC Saini Bongkek revealed this to the media on Monday (July 5).

“This happens when we deport them at a certain route and later, they enter (the state again) through a different route.

“Nonetheless, we are tightening our border controls to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

“Sarawak GOF currently has a total of 25 control posts implementing ‘Ops Benteng Covid’ at the Sarawak-Indonesia border, which stretches some1,645km from Telok Melano to Lawas.”

Based on investigations, the previously arrested locals acting as transporters (tekong), would pick up and deliver the illegal immigrants to specified destinations set by the (human smuggling) syndicates in the neighbouring country.

It is believed that these transporters would receive a minimum of RM300 per trip.

SAC Saini added that the syndicates often changed their modus operandi. “They would use their connections in Malaysia to arrange travel and temporary transit places.”

“They are also very slick as they constantly monitor the surrounding control situation and identify the movement of security forces in the area.”

SAC Saini revealed that the current hotspot for continuous illegal immigrant entry is Melikin, Serian as “there are a lot of illegal routes and it is one of the focus areas for monitoring.”

Kuching and Sri Aman divisions are also among the hotspots for illegal immigrants due to several factors such as high demand and job opportunities in the manufacturing, plantation and construction sectors.