GEORGE TOWN, June 27 -- Seventeen Myanmar nationals working on fish cages in the waters off Penang were detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) near here, yesterday.
They were nabbed as part of the ‘Ops Benteng Laut’ operation, conducted at 0.2 nautical miles southeast of Batu Maung, for not having valid identity documents and work permits.
Penang MMEA director Captain Maritime Hamizan Harun said the operation was conducted from 1 pm yesterday before detaining all the foreign nationals, aged between 20 and 50 years.
“Checks showed three of the workers possessed work permits which had expired in February 2018, while the remaining 14 did not have any valid identification documents,” he said in a statement today.
He said all of them were being investigated under Section 6 (1) (c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for staying in the country without a valid pass or permit and Rule 39(b) of the Immigration Regulations 1963 for working without a valid permit.
Meanwhile, the employer of the foreign workers was being investigated under Section 55E (1) for harbouring illegal immigrants.
“MMEA will continue to intensify monitoring and patrolling at sea to prevent criminal activities including curbing the entry of foreigners into the state’s waters,” he said.
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