Border management : Malaysia and Indonesia take on people smuggling

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – National authorities in Malaysia and Indonesia have boosted their fight against people smuggling by fostering cross-border collaboration and increasing their use of INTERPOL’s policing capabilities.

The three-day (24 to 26 September) joint operation focused on identifying and dismantling the criminal networks engaged in people smuggling, particularly those using both countries as transit hubs or final destinations.

Coordinated jointly by INTERPOL’s Integrated Border Management Task Force and Vulnerable Communities unit, the operation saw reinforced border checks at Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur’s international airports. Police raids also took place along known people smuggling routes.

Police identified 30 migrants, leading to the arrest of two suspected people smugglers. They are accused of transporting men and women into the country to work in the fisheries sector.

Fadil Marsus, Principal Assistant Director of Royal Malaysia Police’s Anti Trafficking in Persons Division, said, “It is crucial for law enforcement to build bridges with our counterparts in the region. Working via INTERPOL provides a secure platform for us to efficiently exchange information that could otherwise take days, weeks or months to obtain.”

During the operation, officials carried out more than 266,000 checks against INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents and criminal databases, revealing five matches, or ‘hits’, which are currently being followed up by the member countries involved.

Regional members of the INTERPOL Specialized Operational Network against people smuggling actively participated in field operations, and will continue to follow up on leads, ensuring multi-agency cooperation continues to yield results.

Tessa Harumdila, Head of Indonesia’s Immigration Checkpoint Division, said, “We will continue to play an active part against people smuggling in the region. This type of operation deepens ties between local and international law enforcement entities and ultimately allows us to better understand global threats.”

The operation was held under the auspices of the INTERPOL Foundation for a Safer World.

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