23 GROs among 72 PATI arrested

IPOH: 23 customer service representatives (GRO) of Thai nationality were among 72 illegal aliens (PATI) caught by the Perak State Malaysian Immigration Department. The arrests were made during raids at 10 premises around Ipoh and Enggor, Kuala Kangsar.

The Deputy Director of the Perak Malaysian Immigration Department, Sharmanrizal Rustam said, a total of 29 women and nine men from Thailand, 10 men from Bangladesh and several individuals from Pakistan, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar including one local citizen were arrested.

According to him, the operation, which was attended by 12 Immigration officers, also checked 133 individuals in 10 premises that run hotels, spas, restaurants, construction, services, apartment houses and raids in farms.

“During the raid, there is a premises that conducts entertainment activities that offer the services of GRO girls. This premises is located in Kampung Jawa, Ipoh where a large number of GRO workers are Thai citizen women. A total of 23 Thai citizen women were arrested in this Ops Gegar.

Entertainment centers for foreigners were among 10 locations raided by the Immigration Department for two days since yesterday.

“The arrests were made to combat and curb the entry of foreign tourists who abuse the facility of the tour pass provided and violate Immigration regulations,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Sharmanrizal said that all the PATIs were detained for investigation purposes. They were believed to have committed offenses under Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, Section 15(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, Regulation 39(b), Immigration Regulations 1963.

According to him, the investigation was also carried out under the Anti Trafficking in Persons and Anti Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 and the Passport Act 1966.

Investigations will also continue on residential owners and business premises owners who allow PATI to be in their premises.

“The Immigration Department hopes that the public can make reports or complaints to help fight the influx of illegal immigrants in this country,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said, his party will also take strict action against employers or individuals who employ or protect illegal immigrants, including prosecuting them in court.

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