JITRA – The Immigration Department is prepared for the 24-hour operation task at the Malaysia-Thailand border at Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, and Padang Besar, Perlis.
Its director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the ability of the department to jointly man the border checkpoints should not be questioned even though they may face enforcement personnel constraints.
“Right now, there are three shifts with a minimum 31 staff on duty at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex at Bukit Kayu Hitam from 6am to 10pm.
“In order to facilitate enforcement once the border is open round the clock, we will need to add an additional shift to cater to the extended operating hours.
“We might have to take various initiatives to make sure there are no constraints on personnel in terms of rotation,” he said after leading ‘Ops Ikrar’ and ‘Ops Sapu’ here, early this morning.
Mustafar said to prevent illegal entries, the department took two improvement approaches in the aspect of control at the CIQ building itself and at the control posts.
“In order to ensure security at the border, coordination with other law enforcement agencies such as the Malaysia Border Control Agency (Aksem), the military and police are also important.
“Cooperation with these agencies can indirectly prevent illegal entries including via the ‘rat route’ and ‘elephant route’,” he said.
Meanwhile, 85 illegal immigrants were arrested in an operation at 2am at two construction sites in Kubang Pasu and Kepala Batas.
The foreign nationals comprising Indonesians, Myanmar nationals, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, aged from one year to 62 years were detained for various immigration offences including expired work permits. – BERNAMA