GELANG PATAH - In a bid to evade the authorities, several illegal immigrants climbed into the ceiling during a raid here.
About 20 foreign workers were fast asleep when the state Immigration Department enforcement officers arrived at a rented house in Taman Nusantara here at 2am yesterday.
"When they saw us, they panicked and tried to hide.
"Some even climbed into the ceiling," Johor Immigration Department deputy enforcement head Masri Adul said.
He said the immigrants, aged between 19 and 58 years old, were detained for overstaying and for not having legal documents.
His officers also arrested 35 foreign labourers, including 14 women, for the same offence in a separate raid at a rented house in Perkampungan Hajjah Fatimah in Tampoi, Johor Baru, last Friday morning.
Masri said the foreigners, from Indonesia and Bangladesh, tried to escape by hiding behind doors, on the ceiling and some even crawled into a ditch near the house.
He said the immigrants' attempt to evade capture was futile as there were 60 enforcement officers surrounding the area during the raid.
The immigrants, aged between 14 and 46, were found to have overstayed while some did not have valid identification documents.
"All have been sent to the state Immigration Department enforcement office in Setia Tropika here," he added.
Masri also urged homeowners not to rent their property to illegal foreigners, pointing out that it is a punishable offence.