The Immigration Department has denied allegations by the Regional Environmental Awareness Cameron Highlands (REACH) that only illegal immigrants were detained in Cameron Highlands, but their employers got off scott free.
Immigration director-general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim (pic) pointed out that 25 employers of illegals had been detained as of February, since the department's integrated operation was implemented in December 2014.
He said of the total, one employer was charged, three were still being investigated, 14 were compounded RM265,000 and seven, freed.
"A total of 50 premises were inspected during the period and 1,172 illegals were detained," he told Bernama today.
REACH president R. Ramakrishnan, in a local newspaper report today, questioned why no action was taken against employers of illegals who were detained to date.
He was also quoted in the report as claiming the possibility of masterminds who had leaked information on the operations of the department.
"Almost daily, there will be enforcement operations to arrest illegals working illegally in the highlands and this is proven when the department is seen detaining foreign nationals.
"However, we have not heard or seen the employers protecting the illegals being arrested or charged.
"Sometimes, before the enforcement authorities arrive at a location, some illegals have made their escape due to information leakage," said Ramakrishnan in the report.
Mustafa, in the meantime, also questioned REACH's statement which he regarded as confusing the people, and created a negative perception of the department.
"Where did the REACH president obtain his information. I am not answering defensively but with facts. I must respond. Otherwise, the public will consider the statement of the president of REACH as accurate," he added. – Bernama, March 15, 2015.