Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fake UNHCR cards found on detained Myanmars

KUALA LUMPUR: Following recent clashes between two factions of Myanmar nationals in the Klang Valley, Immigration Department has found 57 Myanmar nationals holding fake United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Malaysia cards.
Joint operations between City police and Immigration Department saw more than 1,000 foreign nationals picked up to check on their documentation,
It was determined that196 of them did not have proper documents while 57 held fake UNHCR cards.
“We have handed these individuals to the Immigration Department for further action,” said City public order and internal security chief Senior Asst Comm Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid yesterday.
Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department enforcement chief James Musa Singasaid a total of 244 Myanmar men and nine women are being detained at the Jalan Duta and Bukit Jalil detention centres to facilitate investigations.
He said this was the first time he had seen this many illegal immigrants holding the fake cards and are investigating who is the supplier of such cards to the illegal immigrants.
“During the operations, we also nabbed two Bangladeshis and a Nepalese man for not having proper documents during the operations,” he said.
It was reported yesterday that more than 1,000 Myanmar nationals had been picked up by a Kuala Lumpur police task force aimed at averting more clashes between feuding factions.
Seven clashes had been reported involving Myanmar nationals in Kuala Lumpur and parts of Selangor between May 30 and June 4.
Two Myanmar nationals were killed, while two others are in critical condition.
There had been clashes in Myanmar between Buddhists and Muslim ethnic Rohingya since last year.
Immigration director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said the next step was to open investigation papers on these individuals in accordance with the standard operation procedure.
“We are working on ascertaining their identities. Action will be taken on these individuals on a case by case basis,” he said.
Alias added that those who could not verify their identity and claimed to be Myanmar nationals would be referred to the Myanmar Embassy.
City deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Amar Singh said investigations into the deaths of the two Myanmar nationals killed were ongoing.
“A task force from CID is investigating the matter thoroughly, but no arrests have been made so far,” he said.
UNHCR Malaysia spokesperson Yante Ismail said they were aware of fake documents being circulated.
“This does not mean that they do not have a valid refugee claim, and if they have not yet been registered with us, UNHCR will still advocate on their behalf against arrest and deportation,” she said.
She added that there were least 200 refugees and asylum-seekers among the 1,000 Myanmarese nationals picked up by the police on Wednesday, who were later released.
Yante said UNHCR had been in touch with refugee communities through their leaders and directly through meetings with various refugee groups to caution them against committing any violence or being involved in any acts of violence committed by other groups