KUALA LUMPUR: Immigration personnel rounded up 425 illegal immigrants holed up at several units of an apartment block in Cheras here early today, hauling them out of cupboards and refuse bins in some cases.

Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department director Syamsul Badrin Mohshin said the raid at the Cheria Heights Apartments,was carried out following investigations and surveillance for two weeks after complaints from the public who said the number of foreigners in the area was too large and causing various social problems.

“In the operation carried out by 60 immigration officers and personnel starting at 1am and ending at 4am this morning, a total of 425 illegal immigrants were arrested for not having valid identification documents, overstaying or expired Temporary Work Permits in addition to unrecognised card holders .

“Those arrested consist of 252 Bangladeshis, Myanmars (108), Filipinos (two), Indonesians (30), Cambodians (six), Nepalese (20) and seven Pakistanis, all of whom are between eight and 54 years old comprising. 372 men and 53 women,“ he said at a press conference after the operation.

According to him, investigations found that the arrested foreigners worked in various fields including the construction and cleaning sectors.

He said that during the operation, some of the foreigners also acted aggressively by throwing various objects including bottles to avoid being arrested, but no injuries were reported.

Syamsul Bahrin said, apart from those arrested, there were also foreigners who had settled in the area, among them Rohingya refugees who held United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) cards and those who had valid work permits.

“For the Myanmar citizens, they had cards based on their association or ethnicity but they are not valid for use and not recognised (in the country).

“Those who only have these cards as identification, immigration will detain them,“ he said.

He said that all those detained were taken to the Bukit Jalil Immigration Depot for further action and the case is being investigated under Section 15(1)(c) and Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63. -Bernama

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