TAWAU: Two local men and and an Indonesian male failed in their bid to smuggle 40 immigrants from Indonesia to Tawau, after they were detained by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) in front of the Kampung Hidayah Sawit Kinabalu Mosque, Ladang Kalabakan near here, on Wednesday.
ESSCom Commander DCP Datuk Hazani Ghazali said members in the Special Operations ESSCom came across two four-wheel drive vehicles and a lorry that were heading towards Kalabakan village at about 4am.
“Our personnel intercepted the vehicles and found 18 women, 20 men and two boys inside, all of whom had no identification documents.
“Esscom also arrested the three drivers of the vehicles, whose ages ranged from 20 to 68 years,” he said in a statement here.
Meanwhile, Hazani said early investigations on the arrested immigrants revealed that they all paid RM600 to a manager in Nunukan. They then boarded a boat from Nunakan and arrived at Sungai Kalabakan, Tawau at 1am.
"The immigrants arrived in Kalabakan in the hope of finding jobs in the state,” he said.
Hazani added that one of the detained drivers is believed to be responsible for getting the migrants across to Keningau, over 300 kilometres away from here.
ESSCom also seized the two Toyota Hilux four-wheel drive vehicles and the lorry together with four mobile phones and 700,000 rupiah and RM1,324 in cash, during the raid. - Bernama