Malaysia’s Immigration Department has arrested 309 immigrants, including 102 Bangladeshis, for violating the country’s immigration laws.
Apart from the Bangladeshis, there were 193 Indonesians, four Vietnamese, two Indians and eight Myanmar nationals (Rohingya).
Of the detainees, 280 are men and 29 are women aged from 20 to 52.
According to a report of the country’s state-run news agency Bernama, the individuals were arrested on 21 June during an around three-hour operation from a construction site in the Denkil area of Mukim in Selangor province.
Led by Malaysia’s Immigration Director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud, 189 personnel from several enforcement agencies, including the General Operations Force, National Registration Department, Labour Department, and Civil Defence Force, participated in this integrated operation.
They arrested 309 immigrants after detaining 715 and verifying their documents.
Khairul Dzaimee said after the Covid-19 tests, these immigrants would be sent to the Semenyih Detention Centre and investigated in accordance with Section 6 (1) (c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 and Section 15 (1) (c) of the same law, before deportation.
He said his department had received information from locals that the individuals at the settlement had broken the Movement Control Order’s (MCO) standard operating procedures (SOPs).
As a result, the department raided the location and discovered that they were not following the MCO SOPs to the letter.
Earlier on 6 June, 156 migrants, including 62 Bangladeshis, were arrested from a building construction site in Cyberjaya.
The Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia says there are an estimated 1.5 to 2 million illegal foreign workers in Malaysia. Most of them are Indonesians. Bangladeshis are next to them in number.
The Bangladesh High Commission there is in constant contact with the Malaysian authorities to verify the identities of illegal immigrants and send them back to Bangladesh.
The operation is just a part of a normal routine and should not create unnecessary fear among expatriate Bangladeshis.