LANGKAWI, (May 11) — The police are on the lookout for a huge influx of illegal immigrants to this resort island following the arrest of more than 1,000 of them early today, said Langkawi Police chief Supt Harrith Kam Abdullah.
He said 1,018 Bangladesh and Myanmar illegal immigrants were arrested between midnight last night and 10.45 am today after a wooden boat carrying illegal immigrants got stranded at a wave breaker at the Pasir Bedengung beach on the western part of the island.
Harrith Kam said the police were working with the marine police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to conduct patrols and check any immigrant influx.
“We are exercising caution because we have information that more illegal immigrants may try to land in Langkawi,” he told reporters.
Harrith Kam said the police had sought the cooperation of fishermen and seafarers to report any sighting of illegal immigrants off Langkawi.
He said more than 100 women and 50 children were among the 1,018 illegal immigrants picked up today.
The total number of these immigrants could rise because many had yet to be brought to the police district headquarters here where they were being temporarily held, he said.
Harrith Kam said the arrested immigrants would be referred to the Immigration Department.
Recalling their arrests, he said the immigrants jumped into the sea where the waters were shallow and tried to hide at a nearby resort but were detected by the police.
The police learned that the immigrants had been offered jobs with a good salary in Malaysia by so-called recruiting agents in their own countries, he said.– BERNAMA