KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian authorities detained 102 foreigners on Saturday evening in several areas around the capital.
Mazlan Lazim, Kuala Lumpur police chief, said the detentions were part of a crime-prevention operation by the police to curb an influx of undocumented immigrants.
Several areas around Kuala Lumpur that the police describe as “hotspots” for undocumented immigrants were scouted.
“Those arrested include 35 from Bangladesh, 15 from Myanmar, 24 from Indonesia, three from India, six from Pakistan, 13 from Nepal, three from Syria and one from Nigeria,” said Lazim in a statement, adding that two of the 102 detainees were female.
Furthermore, two local men and four immigrants from Bangladesh were arrested at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur for alleged gambling activities. The police seized $506 worth of gambling equipment and cash.
“The Kuala Lumpur police will conduct similar operations from time to time to eradicate the influx of undocumented immigrants that are found to contribute towards the increase of criminal activities in this country,” said Lazim.
He added that those found entering and residing in Malaysia without a valid pass or permit will be charged in accordance with the country’s immigration laws.
Malaysia has become an attractive destination for immigrants due to its lax enforcement of its immigration laws and an abundance of low-skilled jobs. Many immigrants who entered illegally are underpaid and were duped by their agents.
But since the current government took office in 2018, it has made it a priority to reduce the reliance on foreign workers.
It is claimed that there are more than 1 million foreigners working illegally in various industries in Malaysia.