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KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) will cooperate with the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) and other enforcement agencies to conduct a massive Op Benteng nationwide, including in Sabah and Sarawak, to hunt for boat skippers and members of syndicates smuggling in illegal immigrants.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said that over the last few days, the authorities had detained hundreds of smugglers, agents, transporters and owners of premises used to house illegal immigrants.
“These arrests will surely have cut off the stream of illegal immigrant arrivals through rat lanes,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
Bernama yesterday reported that a total of 396 illegal immigrants and 108 boat skippers had been detained under Op Benteng since May 1 (until Monday) for trying to enter the country’s borders illegally.
Meanwhile, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that during the period, the authorities also arrested 11 individuals suspected smugglers as well as seized 13 boats.
Op Benteng was launched in May under the National Task Force, with cooperation from MAF, PDRM, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Health Ministry, Malaysian Civil Defence Force, Immigration Department and People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela). — Bernama