JOHOR BARU, April 13 — Police detained 23 illegal Indonesian immigrants and arrested two boat skippers for attempting to leave the country illegally at Ladang Kurnia in Bandar Penawar, Kota Tinggi last night.
Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the suspects and illegal immigrants were believed to be waiting for their boat back to Indonesia when police raided the area at 7pm.
“The two Indonesian skippers, aged 28 and 39, were arrested by a police team while the illegal immigrants, aged between 20 and 49, have been detained.
“The raid was conducted following a follow-up investigation into two suspects who had been earlier detained on April 8,” said Ayob Khan at a press conference held at the Johor police contingent headquarters here today.
The incident is the second such case reported after the movement control order (MCO) came into force on March 18.
On April 8, the Region 2 Marine Police Force arrested two Malaysian skippers for smuggling in five Indonesian illegals at the Tanjung Pengelih beach near Kota Tinggi.
Ayob Khan said investigators believed the suspects to be part of a syndicate involved in migrant smuggling activities for the past three months.
He said during the raid, police also seized two mobile phones as well as RM4,000 and IDR1.95 million in in cash
“The two arrested skippers have been remanded to facilitate investigations for 28 days beginning yesterday, while the 23 illegal immigrants have been detained under a 14-day remand that also began yesterday,” said Ayob Khan.
Ayob Khan also said investigators have identified more suspects, including those from law enforcement agencies, linked to the illegal immigrant smuggling syndicates.
“Stern action will be taken against any individuals found guilty,” he said without elaborating further.
The case is being investigated under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007 and Section 6 (1) of the Immigration 1959/63.
They are also being investigated under Rule 11 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020.