The Immigration Department rounded up 1,035 illegal immigrants and 16 employers throughout the country on the first day of a nationwide Op Mega after the deadline for registration of temporary Enforcement Card (E-Card) expired at midnight, Friday night.
During Op Mega led by its director-general Mustafar Ali, 3,393 foreigners were screened at 155 premises with Johor registering the highest number detained – 414 illegal immigrants and three employers.
“In Kelantan, 147 illegal immigrants were nabbed while in Sabah (69 illegal immigrants) and four employers were nabbed,” he told Bernama.
Apart from Johor, Kelantan and Sabah, similar operations were held in Terengganu where 64 were detained, Selangor (51), Kuala Lumpur (48), Melaka (46), Perlis (41), Sarawak (36), Perak (36), Penang (23), Negeri Sembilan (23), Kedah (20), Pahang (10) and Labuan (7).
The E-Card is a temporary document that allows foreign workers without a valid travel document or work permit to carry on working in the country pending the approval of a permanent document or work permit because the temporary E-Card expires on February 15, 2018.
The Immigration Department had said when the deadline for E-Card registration ended on June 30, only 23% or 161,056 illegal immigrants had registered, although the registration for E-Card was launched on Feb 15, this year.
For the number which involved 28,375 employers, 145,571 E-Cards were issued but the figure was way off the initial target of 600,000, said Mustafar. –Bernama