39 fake passports found as Malaysia detains 68 Vietnamese citizens

By Hoang Phong   October 12, 2018 | 07:21 am PT
39 fake passports found as Malaysia detains 68 Vietnamese citizens
Tourists gather in front of a giant eagle sculpture at Eagle Square on Langkawi Island, Malaysia in a file photo by Reuters.
68 Vietnamese citizens face up to 14 days in jail and fines of RM32,000 ($192) for several passport-related offences.

A Wednesday raid by immigration officers in Malaysia’s Stulang Laut, a suburb in Johor Bahru City, netted a group of 68 Vietnamese citizens aged between 18 and 57.

Johor State is located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula.    

Malaysian police said the raid and arrests followed public complaints.

The Star Online reported that eight were detained for staying on in Malaysia with expired passports, 21 failed to show proper travel documents and 39 others had fake passports.

A Malaysian man was held for harboring the illegal Vietnamese immigrants, police said.

People in Southeast Asia can travel across the region without having to apply for a visa, but they are only allowed to stay for 30 days as tourists.

In recent years, Vietnamese workers, mainly women, have visited neighboring countries like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia and stayed on to work illegally.

Many have been caught, detained and deported.

Immigration officers in Malaysia last Saturday detained 31 Vietnamese women for working illegally in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

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