Sarawak GOF thwarts bid to smuggle in Indonesians

A van driven by a local man and an Indonesian man acting as tekongs and trafficking eight Indonesians into Sarawak, were thwarted by GOF personnel at Serian on Sunday.

KUCHING: The General Operations Force (GOF) thwarted a human smuggling attempt and an illegal entry attempt involving 12 Indonesians at separate locations on Sunday (Sept 19).

GOF commander SAC Saini Bongkek said the first incident took place at 6.55am around Wong Pandak in Lubok Antu.

A patrol spotted and detained three suspicious men along a plantation path.

“The three men aged between 27 and 34 were Indonesians and they did not have any valid travel documents to enter Malaysia.

“The trio were ordered to return to their country of origin via the same route under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).”

Three Indonesian men caught entering Sarawak illegally, were ordered to return to their country of origin by GOF personnel at Lubok Antu on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the second incident involved a human smuggling attempt, happened around 6pm in Melikin, Serian when a patrol stopped a van for inspection.

SAC Saini said that the team found a local man (the driver) and nine Indonesians (eight men and a woman) aged between 17 and 52, inside.

The local and an Indonesian man, believed to be acting as tekong (agent), were bringing in the eight Indonesians, who did not have any valid documents, into Sarawak.

“He (local) is believed to have received an average payment of RM1,800 per trip based on the destination distance.

“Both the arrests and seizures were handed over to Serian police for further action under Section 15 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling (Atipsom) Act 2007, Section 6(1) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Act 155) and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).”

From January to Sept 19, Sarawak GOF have carrying out 248 raids and inspections involving 342 arrests, 80 vehicle seizures and 610 deportations.

“Those arrested comprised 107 locals — 102 men and five women; and 235 foreigners — 196 men and 39 women.

“610 Indonesians consisting of 507 men and 103 women have been deported thus far,” he added.

Sixty-seven tekong — 61 locals consisting of 60 men and a woman, and six Indonesian men—were arrested as well in addition to the seizure of 55 vehicles.

A van driven by a local man and an Indonesian man acting as tekongs and trafficking eight Indonesians into Sarawak, were thwarted by GOF personnel at Serian on Sunday.