LAHAD DATU: A total of 925 people, believed to be illegal immigrants, were rounded-up in an operation, code-name “Ops Gasak 26, coordinated by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) in Kampung Air Lahad Datu today.
Esscom commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said the detainees in the operation held between 2.30 am and 10am included 351 children.
Most of them were detained for not having valid identification document or were in possession of dubious documents, he told reporters after the operation, which also involved demolition of squatter houses.
Also present were Esscom deputy commander, Brigadier-General Subari Tomo, its maritime director First Admiral M Karunanithi, Lahad Datu district police chief ACP Hamzah Ahmad and Lahad Datu district officer Datu Iman Ali.
Abdul Rashid said about 400 squatter houses in the water village would be demolished in the operation, the biggest to be held after the restructuring of Esscom last July 15.
The operation involved various departments and security agencies, including the Armed Forces, the Royal Malaysia Police, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Immigration Department, National Registration Department, Civil Defence Department and the Lahad Datu District Office.
On “Ops Gasak 26″, Abdul Rashid said it proved the government’s seriousness and commitment to clean the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) of illegal immigrants.
“We will continue with this kind of operation from time to time in Esszone,” he added.
He advised community leaders, especially at the grassroots level, to not collude with illegal immigrants, as well as protect them.
“We will not compromise with any quarters, including village heads, should they be found colluding or protecting illegal immigrants,” he added. – Bernama