Prisons Dept to study ways to beef up security


ALOR SETAR: The Prisons Department will conduct a study to beef up security at Immigration detention depots by increasing security officers and experts.

Prisons Department director-general Datuk Zulkifli Omar said Prisons officers placed at Immigration depots would study the requirement of manpower, expertise and action that need to be taken at each depot.

“This is following the government’s decision to station three Prisons Department officers, comprising an administrator, assistant administrator and a sub inspector or Sergeant Major at three Immigration detention depots at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Sepang, Juru, Penang and Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan,” he said after opening a gallery for products from the North Zone Prisons, here yesterday.

Yesterday, deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said 13 Immigration Department depots in the country would be managed by the Prisons, Immigration and Rela, to beef up operations. Lee in a statement said the Prisons Department would manage the security and detention aspects, Immigration takes charge of documentation and immigration matters while Rela would be responsible for security outside. He said the decision was made following an incident on Sunday which saw 20 Afghans, who were being held as victims of human trafficking, fled the detention centre in KLIA around 3am after cutting security grilles to open two gates at the depot.

Subsequently, 20 Immigration officers in charge of the detention centre were suspended, pending investigations.

Both Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein have warned of harsh action if investigations showed it was an inside job or the work of syndicates, including a “change” in the Home Ministry secretary-general and Immigration director-general. On March 27, 12 Afghans and four Myanmar nationals had also escaped from the depot using the same modus operandi.

Meanwhile, speaking of the gallery for products made in prisons, Zulkifli said the gallery opened here yesterday was the fourth of its kind after Ayer Keroh, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Kajang, Selangor. — Bernama