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Malaysian authorities arrest 111 illegal Thai workers

Jul 18. 2017
Waranon Pitiwan
Waranon Pitiwan
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By The Nation

A total of 111 Thai workers have been arrested by Malaysian authorities for working in Malaysia without permission, following the end of a grace period given to illegal foreign workers, Waranon Pitiwan, the director-general of the Labour Ministry’s Department of Employment (DOE) said on Tuesday.

He was citing a report from the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur that the Malaysian Immigration Department had launched a crackdown on foreign workers with no work permits and their employers.

This was after the June 30 expiry of the E-kad Malaysia (enforcement card) programme’s rehiring scheme, which gave illegal foreign workers a chance to come forward and legalise their employment with valid employers in order to meet labour demands in specific sectors. 

Between July 1 and 10, the officers arrested 3,014 illegal foreign workers, 111 of whom were Thai, and had begun legal action against 57 employers, 

Waranon warned that searches and arrests of illegal workers would continue, so Thais currently working in Malaysia should obtain proper papers.

He warned that Thais must proceed as per the requirements of Malaysian law. Those charged with illegal entry to Malaysia will face up to 10,000 ringgits (Bt78,400) in fines and/or up to five years in jail, plus six strikes of the cane. Those working illegally there will face up to five years in jail and/or 2,100-3,000 ringgits in fines based on the visa-overstaying period, he added.

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