KUCHING, Feb 7 — The Sarawak Immigration Department has detained 19 Indonesians without legal documents found hiding in a bus that was travelling from Betong division to Miri this morning.
Two local men were also detained on suspicion of attempting to smuggle the Indonesians across the Borneo state.
Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said the Immigration had acted on a public tip-off and found the Indonesians squeezed beneath the bus seats and hiding in some boxes on board.
“Based on the information and intelligence gathering, the department dispatched its quick response team to successfully intercept the bus about 1.15am,” the committee said in a statement.
The undocumented immigrants comprised nine men, eight women and two children and were aged between one year and 50 years old.
SDMC said initial investigation showed the Indonesians entered Sarawak through a rat trail in Lubok Antu, aided by Sarawakians and Indonesian agents who charged a fee of between RM1,400 and RM1,600 per person.
SDMC said the Indonesians are investigated for violating the Immigration Act 1959/63 and Passport Act 1966 while action against the two Sarawakians will be based on the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007.
Separately, Bintulu police detained two more Indonesians guarding an entertainment outlet, which is prohibited from operating under the conditional movement control order.
SDMC said 40 compound notices were issued in Bintulu for those who breached Covid-19 regulations.