Hunt still on for 30 Bidor escapees 'in our midst' - Immigration

27 Feb 2024 08:58pm
JIM director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh during a special interview with Bernama, today. - Photo by Bernama
JIM director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh during a special interview with Bernama, today. - Photo by Bernama

PUTRAJAYA - The Immigration Department (JIM) is still hunting for the remaining 30 undocumented immigrants still at large after escaping from the Bidor Immigration Detention Depot in Perak on Feb 1.

JIM director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said all of them are believed to be still in Perak, and they may have found ‘safety in numbers’ when hidden in the midst of their own community.

"We are still tracking the remaining 30 undocumented immigrants and believe they are already (embedded) in their communities. We are carrying out operations in areas where foreigners are settled, especially the Rohingya, which is still our priority.

"Every time an operation is carried out in a settlement of foreigners, a fingerprint check will also be done considering the possibility that they (detainees) are already in the community and it is difficult to do facial recognition,” he told Bernama in a special interview here today.

On Feb 1, a total of 131 illegal immigrants escaped from the male block of the detention depot and one of them reportedly died in a road accident.

Of the total number who escaped, 115 were Rohingya, 15 Myanmar nationals and one Bangladeshi national.

Asked about the operational status of the Bidor Immigration Detention Depot, Ruslin said the depot is still temporarily closed while JIM is in the final process of getting a report and recommendation regarding the depot’s direction.

He said the Office of the Chief Government Security Officer (CGSO) and other enforcement agencies had also visited the depot to obtain feedback for that direction.

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"All of these will be used as a basis for us to bring recommendations to the Ministry of Home Affairs this March. We will make this case in Bidor as an action-oriented one to improve on safety aspects and which will be expanded to other depots if needed,” said Ruslin.

Reportedly after the break-out, a total of 435 undocumented immigrants who were at the Bidor depot were later transferred to six detention depots including Machap in Melaka, Lenggeng in Negeri Sembilan, Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur, Kemayan in Pahang and Langkap in Perak. - BERNAMA