Immigration Dept detains 49 in Ampang condominium raid

KUALA LUMPUR: The Immigration Department detained 49 foreigners in a raid on an Ampang condominium on Friday (June 3).

Federal Territories Immigration Department director Syamsul Badrin Mohshin said 71 Immigration enforcement personnel members together with Selangor Immigration Department conducted the raid at around 11pm on Friday.

“We checked 205 individuals, including 196 Afghan nationals; 97 men, 74 women and 31 children. We also checked five Libyan women and a Libyan man as well as two men from India,” he said when met at the scene on Saturday (June 4).

He said the individuals checked were aged between nine months and 68 years old.

“From these checks, we detained 49 individuals – 27 men, 17 women and 15 children – under Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act,” said Syamsul.

“Most of the foreigners checked here had United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cards and were renting condominium units here for between RM1,000 and RM1,500,” he said, adding that many of them worked odd jobs to make ends meet.

He said many of these foreigners were believed to be living in condominium units due to the safety it provided.

One of the Afghans who was checked was 23-year-old Mahdi Nazari, who said he has lived in Malaysia since 2019.

“We were forced to leave Afghanistan out of fear of the Taliban. We are from the Hazaras ethnic group there and they would have targeted us,” he said.

Mahdi added that they chose to come to Malaysia as it was safe here.

“I hope to one day be able to immigrate to the United States or Australia once the UNHCR has processed our application to become refugees,” he said.

Meanwhile, another Afghan man, 48-year-old Mohammad Younus, said he has been living here with his wife and seven-year-old son for four years now.

“We are forced to share an apartment with another family so that we can afford to pay the monthly rent. I work part-time jobs as a waiter and in courier companies in order to survive,” he said.