Malaysian Armed Forces and Indonesian National Armed Forces personnel working together to ensure that smugglers don’t use ‘jalan tikus’ (rat trails) along the border at the border post in Serikin, Bau yesterday. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: The number of Malaysian soldiers along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border has been increased and they are complemented with technology to monitor and control the entry of illegal immigrants, many of whom travel along ‘rat trails’ to and from the state.

First Infantry Division Commander, Major General Datuk Din Md Din Abu said since the imposition of the movement control order (MCO) until the current conditional movement control order (CMCO) his men were constantly working to stop illegal immigrants from entering Sarawak.

“Currently, the 4th Regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps is running ‘Ops Awas Keris Parang’ that started last month. We have captured 84 illegals and seized over RM100,000 worth of items since January,” he said yesterday.

Now that the festive seasons are coming, the soldiers are more aggressive knowing that more illegal immigrants would want to return to Indonesia.

“It is likely that many will try to return home through the rat trails,” he said.

The team has been using drone-mounted cameras to watch the rat trails, the total length of which is estimated at approximately 1,600km.

The Commander Officer of THE 4th Regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps AT Penrissen Camp, Lt Kol Shamzaini Misran, said six rat trails had been completely closed.

“We started our operations on April 8 and are expected to finish in early July. Our objective is to strengthen the border defence between West Kalimantan and Kuching Division.

“As of April 8 at Serikin border post, three arrests had been made. One is an Indonesian who wanted to go home to his country using a rat trail while smuggling drugs,” he said.

He revealed that cooperation between the Malaysian Armed Forces and the International Indonesian Army 641 Beruang, had been well established to take care of bilateral issues and continue contact to maintain good relations between the two countries.