483 illegals nabbed in five-hour Sabah dragnet

KOTA KINABALU - A five-hour Ops Gasak 8 has netted 483 illegal immigrants in Sabah's east coast district of Semporna.

Eastern Sabah Security Command Defence division director Mej-Jen Datuk Masrani Paiman said the detainees had no travel documents.

They were among 551 people who were screened during the exercise that started at 2.30am yesterday.

"Those without travel documents have been referred to the Immi­gration Department for deportation," he said in a statement.

Mej-Jen Masrani said raids were carried out on five villages - Kampung Air, Bangau-Bangau, Ubian, Panji and Kampung Halo.

He said the detainees, mostly Filipinos, were now housed at the Sandakan temporary detention centre while awaiting deportation.

Similar operations will be carried out in other areas within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone).

There are 10 districts in Esszone, including Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran and Sandakan. The others are Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.