Malaysia arrests over 300 immigrants in overnight raid

Kuala Lumpur, Jun 21 (EFE).- Malaysian authorities arrested 309 immigrants in an early morning raid on Monday at a settlement linked to a construction site in Dengkil, south of Kuala Lumpur.

Citizens of various nationalities “aged between 20 and 52” were arrested under the Immigration Act and Regulations during the examination of documents of around 715 foreigners, the country’s immigration department said on Facebook.

The operation ran from 12.30 am until 2.30 am and involved 189 personnel from various enforcement agencies, state news agency Bernama reported.

The immigration department found people at the site violating the Movement Control Order put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19, with people gathering and eating together in large numbers and with several people sleeping in the same room, immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said, according to Bernama.

Some were overstaying and working illegally, he said.

Those detained were 280 men and 29 women, including 193 Indonesians, 102 Bangladeshis, four Vietnamese, two Indians and eight Myanmar nationals, Bernama said.

They would now undergo Covid-19 testing and then would be held and investigated at Semenyih Immigration Depot before being deported, the director-general said.

During the raid, the immigration department also inspected 10 Rohingya refugees who are United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees cardholders, with two arrested for possessing fake cards, he added.

In February, Malaysia repatriated more than 1,000 Myanmar nationals despite the violent security forces crackdown in the country after the military coup and amid outcry from civic and human rights groups.

Migrant workers have been particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, where they often live in crowded dormitories where it is almost impossible to impose social distancing measures.

In November last year, worker dormitories of Malaysian rubber glove maker Top Glove in the same state of Selangor were put into lockdown due to an outbreak of Covid-19, which affected nearly 15,000 staff and residents.

Malaysia, which is currently experiencing a surge in infections, has recorded nearly 700,000 cases of Covid-19 and 4,408 deaths with just under 5,230 cases Sunday. EFE


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