KUALA LUMPUR: Immigrants who ran businesses at two popular streets here ran helter skelter when the authorities launched a major swoop here this afternoon.
Nearly 1,000 immigrants were checked and 440 were found to be here illegally, having misused their work permit, overstayed or had no valid travel documents in the raid led by the Immigration department.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said a total of 267 personnel from the department, police General Operations Force and Companies Commission of Malaysia were deployed in the operation at Jalan Alor and Jalan Changkat.
“The personnel checked 915 foreigners and 440 of them have committed offences under the Immigration Act 1963.
“Those arrested comprised of 389 men, 47 women and four children. Most of those detained were from Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia,” he said after the operation.
Among the offences includes overstaying, no valid documents and misuse of work permit.
The three-hour operation saw premises abandoned by operators, believed to be illegal immigrants, fled.
Mustafar said it was either some locals had rented the premises to them or the locals had hired the illegal immigrants, which is also an offence.
“That is why this is under a joint-operation as business premises are under different agencies and illegal premises comes under the city council.
“The immigration, along with other agencies wants to stop the chain of offences,” he said.
Mustafar said the two locations raided were among popular tourists spots here but it does not reflect Malaysia as it was flooded with immigrants.
He said the Immigration, through these operations, want to revive the image of the location to portray the real Malaysia.
Mustafar admitted that certain places requires immigrants but it has to go through legal channels.