KUALA LUMPUR: The armed forces detained 44 illegal immigrants trying to enter or leave the country illegally at the waters of Desaru Coast, Bandar Penawar, Johor early this morning.
The Malaysian Third Infantry Division headquarters in Terendak Camp, Melaka, said in a statement today that the suspects, aged 20 to 54, were picked up at 3.15 am in ‘Op Benteng’ conducted by members of the 1st Regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps.
“The Quick Reaction Force was mobilised after receiving intelligence before conducting surveillance in the area at 2.30 am and detecting the presence of a boat at Desaru Coast beach.
“The team then arrested 20 men and five women believed to be trying to leave Malaysia while another five men and 14 women had just arrived (by boat) via unauthorised routes,” the statement said.
The soldiers also seized RM41,982 in cash, almost 46 million rupiah (RM12,977.94), other currencies, 60 mobile phones and 15 watches, involving a total amount of RM84,577.
All the suspects would be handed over to the Immigration Department for further action after the Covid-19 screening tests were conducted, while a police report was lodged at the Bayu Damai police station. — Bernama