Sumber : DAILY EXPRESS NEWS (08.08.2008)
Op's first phase starts
Kota Kinabalu: The much-anticipated crackdown on illegal immigrants dubbed Ops Bersepadu was launched, early Thursday, and the first phase focussed on the West Coast, particularly squatter areas in the capital and neighbouring Penampang.
It involved some 500 officers from various enforcement agencies and also the local authorities.
Police teams including armed General Operations Force (GOF) personnel spearheaded the raids, combing closely-knit squatter colonies in Tanjung Aru, Sembulan, Gaya Island, Kg Tunoh, Kobusak and Dabak, among others.
In the meantime, officers from the Immigration Department, National Registration Department, Special Federal Taskforce and other agencies conducted the screening process in holding centres at the Luyang Community Centre and Federal Complex multipurpose hall.
Illegal immigrants would be sent to temporary detention centres in Menggatal and the army's Kem Paradise in Kota Belud for repatriation.
State Secretary, Datuk Sukarti Wakiman, who is heading the operation said house-to-house inspections and roadblocks were conducted from 3am.
In a statement, Thursday, he said as of 11.30am, about 2, 500 people were screened in the operation, and those with dubious documents were brought for further checking at the holding centres.
"As the State-level Operations Chief, I am satisfied with the implementation of the operation today," he said, adding the next phase would be carried out in accordance to what had been planned.
The operation is being coordinated by a secretariat under the State Security Committee headed by Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Datuk Ab Razak Ab Ghani said while everything went without a problem, police had expected a low detainee count due to the media coverage on the crackdown.
"We had anticipated lower numbers of illegal immigrants as it was publicised that action will come in the first week (of August)," he said.
It is expected that the authorities will comb much of the West Coast for illegal immigrants in the coming few months before they switch their attention to the East Coast.