GEORGE TOWN: Immigration en­­forcement officers discovered numbers such as 04, 08 and the swastika painted on doors of containers used as workers’ quarters during a raid at a construction site in Sungai Ara, near here.

There were also images of swords lodged through a skull, believed to be a gang insignia.

Penang Immigration Department enforcement division assistant director Basri Othman said the foreigners might be involved in gangland activities.

“We will leave the investigations to the police,” he told reporters after the Ops 6P Bersepadu at the quarters where 35 illegals were detained.

A total of 155 foreigners were screened in yesterday’s operation.

A one-month-old girl without a birth certificate and her mother were among those detained.

The baby’s mother, an Indonesian, did not have a passport or a valid work permit when she was found in one of the containers during the 12.30am operation yesterday.

Several others who heard the commotion escaped by jumping into a shallow river and fleeing on foot.

They included 66 Bangladeshis, 39 Indonesians, 36 Myanmars, eight Nepalese, four Thais, a Vietnamese and a Sri Lankan.

The 35 detained were 17 Myan­mars, 15 Indonesians, a Bangla­deshi and the Vietnamese and Sri Lankan. Most of them were construction labourers.

Basri said the operation was the third in the state following crackdowns at the Penang Sentral bus station and the ferry terminal in Butterworth.

Thirty-three immigration personnel, four National Drug Agency officers and 14 Rela personnel conducted the screening.

Bangladeshi Dulal Miah, 38, who has a valid work permit, said he has been working at the construction site for almost half a year now and was paid RM40 daily.

“I paid more than RM10,000 to get a work permit here through an agent. Some of my friends who paid the same amount never got their work permits.

“We’re like a big family here. We cook together and have fun at the same time,” he said. “Now, most of them have been caught and I don’t think they are ever going to come back.”

source:The Star Online