SANDAKAN, May 22  — A total of 1,725 illegal immigrants from the Philippines have been deported through the Sandakan port since the beginning of this year.

Sabah Immigration director Datuk Dr Muhamad Sade Mohamad Amin said the repatriation programme was implemented in three series since January.

“All the illegal immigrants from the Philippines have been detained at the Kota Kinabalu and Papar Immigration depots since last year (2020) and they were deported via Sandakan port to Zamboanga, Philippines.

“All the detained immigrants have committed various offences under the Immigration Act 1959/63 and the Immigration Regulations 1963 and have served their sentences according to national law, to be deported from Sabah,” he said in a statement here today.

Mohamad Sade said prior to the repatriation programme, a strict health screening process, including conducting COVID-19 test, was carried out to ensure no transmission of the virus.

He also said that the Sabah Immigration Department had obtained cooperation from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur for the implementation of the third series of the repatriation programme, involving 496 people, yesterday.

Mohamad Sade also reminded foreigners who want to enter Sabah to have a valid travel document and obtain permission prior to entering the state.

He said all enforcement agencies in Sabah would take stern action against those who failed to comply with the set rules.


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