Malaysian authorities arrested at least 750 Bangladeshis among 1,509 undocumented migrants in three days during a crackdown on illegal foreign workers.
According to the immigration department of the Southeast Asian nation, the crackdown was launched on Friday midnight as the deadline for E-Card (enforcement card) registration expired on 30 June.
Rights activist Md Harun-or Rashid told Prothom Alo over phone from Malaysia that the Malaysian government was carrying out raids at every nook and corner to catch the undocumented foreigners.
He also said the authorities gave the undocumented migrants an opportunity to temporarily get legalised by 30 June. But many workers could not avail of the opportunity.
Harun said the employers were mainly responsible for this, but he middlemen might not have done the job properly either, he added. Harun also pointed to the ignorance of the migrants.
“A total of 1,509 illegal immigrants were detained. Of them, Bangladeshis make up the highest number with 752 people. A total of 195 Indonesians, 117 Myanmar nationals, 50 Filipinos and 45 Thais were arrested,” reports New Straits Times quoting immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali on Monday.
The remaining 350 people were of various nationalities.
Mustafar said the breakdown comprised 1,314 men, 192 women and three children.
He said the department has also detected a new tactic to register immigrants who had been either deported or blacklisted.
“They (the immigrants) had used illegal routes to enter the country and tried to join the E-Card registration programme to get a valid work permit. However, their scanned thumbprints revealed their identity and status, and that they had been blacklisted”.
“We foiled attempts to register unqualified immigrants, numbering 38 cases. A total of 40 immigrants and two employers were detained,” he said.
Errant employers and foreign workers who failed to apply for E-Card will face stern action under the immigration act.
Source: Prothom Alo