Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 14:01 WIB

Settling on Malaysian Palm Oil Plantations, Hundreds of Undocumented Indonesian Citizens Arrested

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Jakarta, IO – The Malaysian Immigration Department arrested 132 undocumented migrants in an operation to crack down illegal settlements in oil palm plantation in Setia Alam, Malaysia, Sunday (18/2).

Most of the migrants, 130 individuals, were Indonesians, while the remaining two were Bangladeshis, per Liputan6, Mon (19/2).

Deputy Director General for Operations of Malaysian Immigration, Jafri Embok Taha, detailed that the group consisted of 76 men, 41 women, 12 children, and 1 nine-month-old baby.

Jafri explained that the raid was the result of intelligence and complaints received by his side. The illegal settlement was known to have existed in the last four years and has had electricity connection.

“The foreigners are suspected of renting the area from local residents who also supply electricity,” said Jafri.

Based on their accounts, they paid around 6,000 ringgit (Rp19.6 million) a month to rent 0.6 hectares of land.

“In this illegal settlement there are also grocery stores, food stalls and surau. Most of these foreigners work as cleaners, restaurant waiters and construction workers around the location,” he explained.

Based on examination of all the foreigners involved, they did not have valid travel documents and had lived in Malaysia for an extended period of time. Officers also had difficulty catching them during the operation.

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“During the three-hour operation, some of them climbed onto the roof and locked themselves (in the house) so they wouldn’t be caught by the authorities,” said Jafri.

The raid was carried out by 220 personnel from different agencies. Jafri also reminded the public and businesspeople in Malaysia not to harbor illegal immigrants, or else they will face legal consequences. (un)

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