Friday, August 19

Gas pipeline may be entry point for illegals


MIRI: The Sabah Sarawak gas pipeline route could be another way illegal immigrants are entering Sarawak from Sabah via Miri, said state Immigration director Datu Robert Lian.

The pipeline links Kimanis, Beaufort and Sipitang, Sabah to Lawas, Baram and Bintulu. Robert said he would get villagers in the area to report the movements of those who are not locals near their kampungs or longhouses.

He said Miri Airport could also be another entry point as rural air service flights from Lawas are not subject to immigration checks.

“Our Immigration officers stationed at Miri Airport are now beefing up checks on passengers from Lawas to Miri and Miri back to Lawas at Miri Airport to ensure that there are no loopholes for illegals to come to Miri,” he told a press conference on Wednesday.

Robert added that the Sungai Tujuh Immigration checkpoint in Kuala Baram and in Tedungan, Limbang are well secured as the Immigration officers are well-equipped to check on any illegals trying to cross the border. He admitted that the border between Merapok in Lawas and Sendumin in Sipitang could be another possible entry point. Robert called on the public to relay information and work closely with the department to stop illegal immigrants from coming into the state.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak enforcement chief First Admiral Ismaili Bujang Pit said April is historically the month when the most number of illegal vessels from other countries encroach on Sarawak waters. He said this is due to the wealth of fish in the state’s waters particularly at this time of the year.