Police foil bid by 74 Turks to enter country

PADANG BESAR, Malaysia - A bid by 62 illegal immigrants from Turkey to enter Malaysia from Thailand was foiled by the General Operations Force (GOF).

Bidor Third GOF Battalion assistant commanding officer Deputy Supt S. Sivam said the illegal immigrants' movements were detected by GOF personnel at about 5.30am yesterday.

They were detained while trying to enter the country's border through the Malaysia-Thailand border fence near here.

"GOF personnel, who became suspicious by human movement early in the morning, surrounded the illegal immigrants," he said yesterday.

He said all the Turkish nationals, including 23 men aged between 19 and 23, 15 women aged between 25 and 40, 15 boys aged between nine months and 11 years, and nine girls aged between five months and eight years were believed to be from Ankara, Turkey.

They did not have any identification or valid travel documents to enter the country.

One of them, a 20-year-old man who could speak English, revealed during interrogation that they were family members, husbands and wives and acquaintances from Ankara, said DSP Sivam.

"The foreigners were weak and hungry when they were caught."

He added that his men found clothing, mobile phones and US$6,300 (S$7,970) on them.

The foreigners were given food before being handed over to the Immigration Department.

In Kuala Lumpur, policemen who chased and stopped a car with Thai registration plates were shocked to find 12 Turkish people, including five young children, inside.

The patrolmen saw the Honda City travelling along Jalan Besar Selayang Baru at 10.30am on Wednesday.

When they ordered the driver of the car to stop, he sped off.

The car then crashed and damaged two parked cars near Taman Bolton in Batu Caves before it came to a halt.

The 32-year-old Malaysian driver was arrested. It was then that the officers spotted the 12 foreigners inside the car, who were unhurt.

Gombak OCPD ACP Ali Ahmad confirmed the incident, adding that none of the foreigners had any identification documents on them.