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GENERAL

Over 1,000 illegal immigrants repatriated to Myanmar today

23/02/2021 08:59 PM

IPOH, Feb 23  -- A total of 1,086 illegal immigrants from Myanmar who were detained in Immigration Department depots throughout the country since last year have been repatriated from the Lumut Royal Malaysian Navy base today.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the repatriation programme was implemented by his department with the assistance of the Malaysian Armed Forces, including the navy, the National Task Force (NTF) and the Myanmar embassy.

"All detainees sent back are Myanmar illegal immigrants and do not involve Rohingya or asylum seekers.

"All those onboard the Myanmar naval vessels have agreed to return home voluntarily without coercion by any party,” he said in a statement today.

He said the repatriation programme is part of an ongoing deportation process by the Immigration Department for detainees housed in Immigration Department depots.

He said the deportation process last year proceeded slowly as many countries closed their borders.

"The department, through the Home Ministry and Wisma Putra will continue to secure the agreement of countries involved such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh to repatriate their citizens currently held in Immigration depots in large numbers.

"The Immigration Department would like to thank all parties for their assistance, especially the navy and the NTF in making this repatriation programme a success,” he said.

-- BERNAMA

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