Eight-month-old baby among 375 illegal immigrants held in Malaysia

Eight-month-old baby among 375 illegal immigrants held in Malaysia
End of the road: Some of the immigrants waiting to be screened in Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: A total of 375 illegal immigrants, whose ages ranged from eight months to 57, were arrested in an operation.

National Security Council Sabah secretary Rodzi Md Saat said they were among 804 screened during 18 separate operations in the city and neighbouring Penampang district in the past 48 hours.

They were mainly Filipinos and Indonesians who had no travel documents.

"The crackdown is successful. The number of those arrested without documents is big," Rodzi told reporters at the Sembulan community hall here where the illegal immigrants were being screened.

He said the multi-agency crackdown was in line with an order from State Security Council chairman Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who is Chief Minister.

This, Rodzi said, followed the Royal Commission of Inquiry report recommending for more efforts to weed out illegal immigrants in Sabah.

"A total of RM2.3mil (S$857,000) was initially allocated for the operations," he said, adding that the amount would be increased if the necessity arose.

He said that in the first three months of this year, they deported 6,053 illegal immigrants from Sabah.

There are 5,964 illegal immigrants still being held at four temporary immigration detention centres in Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Sandakan and Tawau.

"They will be deported in due course," he said, urging people not to employ or harbour illegal immigrants.

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