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Malaysian authorities detain 158 individuals, including Sri Lankans, for immigration violations

March 17, Colombo (LNW): Malaysian authorities detained 158 individuals, including Sri Lankans, for residing in Malaysia without valid visas or permits and for overstaying their permitted duration, foreign reports claimed.

The apprehensions occurred during a raid conducted at the Bercham Flats in Perak, as reported by the Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, according to Perak Immigration Director, Meor Hezbullah Meor Abdul Malik.

The detainees, comprising 83 men, 54 women, 8 boys, and 3 girls aged between 9 and 60, hailed from various countries including Indonesia, Nepal, Myanmar, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

Meor Hezbullah stated that most of the individuals were renting apartments from local landlords, and approximately 560 units across 15 blocks were inspected during the operation.

One detainee, a 50-year-old Indonesian, was found to have been working as a house cleaner without a permit for a year.

The operation, dubbed ‘Op Pintu,’ was a joint effort involving 160 individuals from the state immigration department and the Ulu Kinta General Operations Force, conducted in the early hours of the day.

Meor Hezbullah cautioned local homeowners against renting their properties to foreigners without proper authorisation, emphasising that such actions could result in charges under Section 55(E) of the Immigration Act 1959/63.

This section carries a maximum fine of RM 30,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both.

Additionally, he announced that the department would investigate every homeowner who had rented their units to undocumented immigrants following the recent arrests.

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