971 Illegal migrants including Lankans nabbed in Malaysia


Malaysian authorities have nabbed 971 foreigners including Sri Lankans in a nationwide crackdown, the Kathmandu Post reported.

A total of 2,182 foreign nationals were screened in the twelve-hour operation, the agency quoted an official at Malaysian Immigration Department. Migrant workers from Nepal, Indonesia, Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and China were arrested during the raid.

The move comes hours after the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced suspension of recruitment of foreigners and deportation of illegal workers.

Malaysian Immigration Department Director General Datuk Sakib Kusmi said they were arrested on different charges like not having identification documents, overstaying and holding unrecognised cards of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

It is learnt that the detainees will be placed at immigration detention centres for investigation and would be deported to their respective countries. Until Thursday this year, 8,058 illegal migrants were deported to their countries, reports say.

The Malaysian authority conducted raid in Cyberjaya, Kuala Terengganu, Bukit Mertajam, Ipoh and Seremban from January 1 to February 19.

Malaysia that is home to around 2.1 million migrant workers is expected to have as many illegal migrant workers.

In 2011, the Malaysian Government had introduced amnesty and opportunity to legalise the illegal status of migrant workers. It had come down heavily upon the migrant workers then also.