Illegal Vietnamese workers arrested in Malaysia

By VnExpress   January 21, 2017 | 08:03 pm PT
Illegal Vietnamese workers arrested in Malaysia
Foreign workers at a construction site in Malaysia. Photo by AFP
The detainees will be subject to further investigation under Malaysia’s Immigration Act.

Malaysian authorities have arrested 137 illegal foreign workers at an apartment construction site in Johor State, including some Vietnamese laborers.

The raid on Saturday morning found a total of 239 foreigners at the construction site for a 25-floor apartment. 102 of those were released after providing legal work permits, The Star Online reported on Saturday.

Most of the detainees were Indonesian. The remaining workers, aged between 20 and 52, come from Vietnam, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. The report did not provide the number of workers from each country.

The detainees will be subject to further investigation by local immigration officials under Malaysia’s Immigration Act, the daily said.

The Vietnamese government started sending laborers to Malaysia in April 2002. After nearly 15 years, there are approximately 60,000 Vietnamese laborers in the country.

In February 2016, Malaysia's government temporarily halted work permits for foreigners, including Vietnamese, to review the status of its foreign workforce and to re-evaluate its tax policy for foreign employees.

The move disrupted Vietnamese labor exports to Malaysia last year. The total number of Vietnamese workers leaving for Malaysia in the first eight months of 2016 fell to 1,762, while the annual average figure is around 7,000.

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