Penang Immigration not deterred by presence of tontos
Last Update: 08/08/2019
By Erma Idayu Mohd Yusop
BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- The Penang Immigration Department is determined to eradicate illegal immigrants in the state despite facing difficulties in carrying their duties when details of its operations are constantly leaked to syndicates by individuals known as ‘tontos’.
In an interview with Bernama recently, Penang Immigration director Muhamad Husni Mahmud said that the movement of his enforcement officers were constantly monitored by tontos who brazenly hang around in front of the immigration office in Seberang Jaya in order to provide information to the syndicate that hired them.
"However, we have our own strategy on how to confuse these tontos. I want to send a message to syndicates and employers of illegal immigrants that the presence of their tontos or informants would only increase the Penang Immigration Department's determination to conduct more operations to eradicate illegal immigrants from this state,” he said.
Muhamad Husni said for the first six months of 2019, his department had conducted at least four operations a day to arrest foreigners committing various immigration offences.
This, he said, totalled up to 790 operations so far this year compared to 681 operations for the same period last year.
The first six months of the year also saw 1,556 foreigners have been arrested for various immigration offences compared to 1,446 for the same period last year.
"From that total, Bangladesh citizens were the highest number arrested at 531, Indonesia (346), Myanmar (331), Thailand (126), Vietnam (126) and various other countries," he said.
He also said that some 2,034 foreigners from various countries had been deported during the same period, after serving their sentences.
"We will continue to make sure that foreigners who choose to work in Penang would abide by our law,” he said.