ALOR GAJAH, May 23 ― Coastline patrols via Op Benteng will be intensified to curb an expected increase of illegal immigrants’ entry through illegal landing spots along the Straits of Melaka after Aidilfitri.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) deputy director-general of operations Vice-Admiral Datuk Ibrahim Mohamed said there were possibilities that the migrants would attempt to find their way back into the country after the celebration, and this poses a risk of an increase in Covid-19 import cases.
“Some of them may be required to return to work as the government has allowed industries to operate following the enforcement of conditional movement control order (CMCO).
“Therefore, we will intensify surveillance in our waters especially at landing hotspots along the Straits of Melaka,” he told reporters after visiting MMEA’s Melaka and Negri Sembilan headquarters here last night.
Earlier, he inspected the KD Gagah Samudera which will serve as the main vessel in Op Benteng.
Ibrahim said through Op Benteng, suspicious boats and vessels would be intercepted and the operation focuses on tracking and arresting skippers who arrange trips for illegal immigrants to enter or leave the country.
Op Benteng was activated under the National Task Force, led by the Malaysian Armed Forces, the police and Maritime Malaysia, to tighten national borders from illegal immigrants and to prevent cross-border crime as well as to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic. ― Bernama