PUTRAJAYA: Illegal immigrants from Indonesia who had set up an illegal settlement in the Puncak Alam forest, Selangor, were willing to risk their lives by jumping down steep slopes in the forest at night to avoid being detained by authorities during an integrated operation led by the immigration department on Saturday.

There were some who tried to sneak through escape lanes in the forest but their modus operandi failed since enforcement officers had already surrounded the area during the 2am raid.

Immigration director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said 95 individuals were screened during the operation and from the total 39, including three children (one boy and two girls), were detained for various offences.

“The remaining 56 were not detained because they had registered under the Labour Recalibration Programme (RTK) 2.0 and had valid Temporary Working Visit Pass (PLKS),” he said in a statement today.

Ruslin added that the integrated operation involved 110 enforcement officers including 13 officers from the Putrajaya Immigration Department headquarters, 13 officers from the National Registration Department and five officers from the Civil Defence Force (APM).

He added that those involved in the operation faced tough challenges during the operation as they had to walk in unfamiliar terrains of the forest for 15 minutes at night while the area was surrounded by steep slopes.

“It was a very challenging task because the illegal settlement was far from the main road and surrounded by dangerous slopes and deep in the forest. There were also lanes used by the illegal immigrants to escape from the authorities,” he said.

Ruslin added that information about the illegal settlement has been submitted to the local council for further action.

All the illegal immigrants, aged between two and 59, would be detained at the Immigration Detention Centre in Semenyih, Selangor. - Bernama