PUTRAJAYA: The 13 depots housing illegal immigrants will now be jointly managed by the Immigration and Prisons departments, together with Rela, in an effort to boost and strengthen their administration and management, particularly in the area of security.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said the decision was made after the special committee to enhance the management of the depots, chaired by secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam, met Wednesday.
He said joint management of these depots would take effect immediately.
"The meeting has decided that Prisons Department will be in charge of security and prison management of these depots, Immigration will be responsible for documentation and immigration issues while Rela will look at the external security of these facilities," he said in a statement.
The depots involved are Simunjan and Bekenu in Sarawak, Pekan Nenas (Johor), Machap Umboo (Malacca), Lenggeng (Negri Sembilan), KL International Airport (KLIA) and Semenyih (Selangor), Langkap (Perak), Juru (Penang), Belantik (Kedah), Tanah Merah (Kelantan), Ajil (Terengganu) and Kemayan (Pahang).
On Sunday, 20 Afghans, who were being held as victims of human trafficking, fled the detention centre in KLIA around 3am after cutting security grilles to open two gates at the depot.
Twenty Immigration officers in charge of the detention centre were suspended pending investigations.
Both Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein have warned of harsh action if investigations showed it was an inside job or the work of syndicates, including a "change" in the Home Ministry secretary-general and Immigration director-general.
On March 27, 12 Afghans and four Myanmar nationas also escaped from the depot using the same modus operandi.