KUALA LUMPUR: A community of illegal immigrants living in a forest near Taman Desa, Kepong, was uncovered by Immigration officers who arrested 48 people, mostly from Myanmar.
There were eight women among them aged between 20 and 37 years. City Immigration Department director Mohd Khamdee Khuzaini Tukiman said they were detained yesterday morning after two years of surveillance.
He said 66 people from four departments, including the Immigration Department, Rela, Civil Defence Force (JPA3) and National Registration Department took part in the operations.
In the 11.30am raid, the enforcement officers posed as construction engineers who trekked 15 minutes into the jungle before reaching the village.
Some of the immigrants were cooking and did not realise the impending raid.
But once they realised what was happening, most of them gave up without a struggle, though a few dashed into the nearby forests to avoid capture.
“They built make-shift shacks to live in, two kitchens to cook their meals and even a place of worship. A large water tank was also found nearby,” Mohd Khamdee said.
He said the village, believed to have been set up a year ago, housed immigrants who worked in nearby factories.
“We also received information from the public that on Saturdays up to 150 Myanmar nationals from nearby areas who would meet in the village to party,” Mohd Khamdee added.
PS: These are from the Zomi ethnic group members of MZO (Malaysia Zo Organization) and SOM (Siyin Organization of Malaysia) living in the jungle camp. What the media releases in the public is note in favor of the Zomi refugees from Myanmar. The refugees have to be alert and be vigilant in Malaysia.
Note: Section 6(3) Immigration Act 1959/63
A foreign visitor whose presence in Malaysia can be interpreted as illegal entry if :
Fails to produced a genuine passport/travel document upon request
Passport/travel document does not have a valid entry endorsement/visit pass
The penalty for an offence on illegal entry :
A fine not exceeding RM10,000.00 or to imprisonment for a exceeding 5 years or both
A compound of RM3,000.00
As such foreign visitors are reminded :-
To take precaution on the safety of their passport/travel document and must carry with them during their stay in Malaysia Must ascertained that they produced their passport/travel document to an Immigration officer at the point of entry and has been issued with the relevent pass. To report immediatly to the Immigration Department on the lost of their passport/travel document
Several objects, which could have been used as weapons, were also seized in the raid.
He said all of them had no documentation and would be sent to the Semenyih detention depot while waiting to be charged with violating Section 6 (3) of the Immigration Act.
He advised locals not to employ and protect illegal immigrants and urged them to call the respective state immigration departments if they had any information on illegal immigrants in their areas.