Malaysia: Lankans among 158 held in for visa-related offence

Malaysia: Lankans among 158 held in for visa-related offence

As many as 158 illegal immigrants, including Sri Lankans, were detained in Malaysia for residing there without valid visas or permits and overstaying their allowed duration, foreign media reported on Saturday.


Citing Perak Immigration Director Meor Hezbullah Meor Abdul Malik, the Malaysian National News Agency ‘Bernama’ said the illegal immigrants were apprehended during a raid conducted at the Bercham Flats in Perak.


Among the detainees were 83 men, 54 women, eight boys and three girls – all aged between 9 and 60 years hailing from Indonesia, Nepal, Myanmar, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.


“Most of these individuals were renting apartments from local landlords. Approximately 560 units in 15 blocks were inspected during the operation,” he was quoted as saying on Saturday (March 15).


Reportedly, one of the detainees, a 50-year-old Indonesian, had been working as a house cleaner without a permit for a year.


The woman from Sumatra was among the 158 individuals apprehended during a joint operation dubbed ‘Op Pintu’ which involved 160 individuals from state immigration department and Ulu Kinta General Operations Force, in the early hours of the day.


Meor Hezbullah warns local homeowners not to rent their properties to foreigners without proper authorization.


He emphasized that doing so could lead to charges under Section 55(E) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, which carries a maximum fine of RM 30,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months or both.


Further, he said following the recent arrests, the department would investigate every homeowner who rented their units to undocumented immigrants