PUTRAJAYA: A total of 5,173 people were detained by the immigration department until Tuesday under, which has been carried out non-stop since July 1 to track down employers and illegal immigrants who had not registered for the E-Card programme which ran from February to June 30 this year.

Immigration director-general Mustafar Ali said from July 1 to 7am, July 25, the department had conducted 1,272 enforcement operations nationwide.

“A total of 17,955 people have been checked and the result is 5,065 illegals from various countries had been nabbed on various immigration offences.

“In addition, 108 employers were also arrested and 367 were given notice to give their statements during this period,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Of the total number nabbed, Bangladeshis recorded the highest number at 1,520, followed by Indonesians (1,476), Myanmars (429), Vietnamese (285), Thais (206), Filipinos (261) and the rest from other countries, he said.

Mustafar said the immigration department had taken proactive steps by holding meetings and discussions with embassies, including those from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Nepal.

“The initiatives were taken to clarify the efforts undertaken, as well as the steps that employers and employees have to take after the expiry of the E-card registration period.

“This also includes the issuance of travel documents by the embassy concerned and the completion of the rehiring process,” he said.

For employers who failed to register their migrant workers, Mustafar urged them to send back these migrant workers through the Voluntary Deportation Programme (3+1 Programme) to avoid the risk of legal action, including prosecution, he said.

He said that from January to July 25 this year 125,061 illegals had returned to their home country through the 3 + 1 Programme. Bernama