GEORGE TOWN - The state Immigration Department nabbed 16 foreign workers in its crackdown against illegal immigrants.
The 15 Nepalese and a Bangladeshi, all men aged between 20 and 40, were picked up at a laundry service factory in Bayan Lepas. The immigrants were arrested under Regulation 39(b) of the Immigration Regulations 1963 for violating their social visit passes and permits.
Penang Immigration enforcement chief Basri Othman said some of the workers ran helter-skelter upon seeing the raiding teams approaching the factory entrance.
He said 20 of his enforcement officers then started to comb the area and found some of them hiding.
"One of them hid behind a shrine located inside the factory. None of them managed to escape as we had cordoned off the area.
"They will be brought back to our headquarters for further action," he said at the scene yesterday.
Basri said they would also interview the factory operator, adding that they had monitored the premises for two weeks before moving in.
"I hope employers will take in foreign workers by going through the appropriate procedures," he said.