JOHOR BARU, Oct 26 — The Johor police are not ruling out the possibility of an active illegal migrant smuggling syndicate network here as there are still attempts for some to illegally enter the state.
Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the authorities will also investigate if there were any involvement of officers or enforcement officers in such activities.
“The police have issued stern warnings and continuous action will be taken against the illegal migrant syndicates,” he said during a press conference at the Johor police contingent headquarters here today.
Ayob Khan’s response came after he said police were committed to eradicate illegal migrant activities following several successes since September this year.
Earlier this year, the state’s top cop had issued a warning that police will not compromise in taking action against personnel of enforcement agencies who are found to be colluding with migrant smugglers.
Following that, in June this year, police nabbed 22 enforcement officers from various departments that were found to have assisted in migrant smuggling activities.
Ayob Khan said from September 1 to yesterday, a total of 56 individuals were detained in the Op Benteng operations against illegal migrant activities to curb cross-border crime in tackling the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
He said those detained comprised of 17 skippers (tekong) and 39 illegal migrants, aged 21 to 57, around Johor’s east and west coast.
“Of the total, 43 individuals were detained around the state’s east coast and another 13 in the west coastal areas with the seizure of six land vehicles and a boat,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ayob Khan said between April 22 and yesterday, the Op Benteng operation managed to arrest a total of 537 individuals, where 439 of them were detained around the state’s east coast and another 98 in the west coast.
He said authorities also seized 42 land vehicles and nine boats during that period.
“A total of 44 investigation papers have been opened where 40 of them have been charged and four are still under investigation pending further action,” said Ayob Khan.