KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — A total of 497 migrants and 28 human trafficking agents were deported under Op Benteng in Sarawak as a result of the integrated coordination of the National Task Force (NTF) from May 1 to last Sunday.
Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang said 459 of the migrants were from Indonesia while the rest were from various other countries including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Vietnam and Myanmar.
The agents comprised 23 Indonesians and five locals.
“A total of 56 deportations were carried out by various agencies such as the armed forces, police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Immigration Department, Customs Department and Volunteer Corps Department.
“It is a measure to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and Op Benteng under NTF is constantly stepping up border vigilance in Sarawak as well as maritime and land borders,” he said in a statement.
Affendi said the constant vigilance was following the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Sabah, apart from focusing on the rat routes which were the hotspots for migrants to enter and exit Sarawak.
“Through the Sarawak-Kalimantan land border control, Op Benteng is empowered with existing operations namely Op Awas/Keris Parang, Op Kerangka, Op Suluh Kenyalang and Op Jagakawan carried out by the army,” he said.
The operations involved border control in Biawak, Kandie, Serikin, Tebedu, Balai Ringin and Lubok Antu sectors in Sarawak.
He advised the people to report smuggling or illegal immigrant activities as well as border intrusions or any cross-border crime activities to the NTF Operations Centre hotline at 011-6251 1223.