Monday, August 27, 2007

27,000 Aceh Refugees Must Renew Visas By Sept 27

August 20, 2007 18:46 PM
27,000 Aceh Refugees Must Renew Visas By Sept 27

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 20 (Bernama) -- About 27,000 Aceh refugees here have been asked to renew their visas in one month starting Aug 27 to avoid over-staying.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Wahid Md Don said this followed the government decision allowing Acehnese who fled the tsunami two years ago to stay for another year.

"The Immigration Department had asked 30 Aceh community leaders to inform members that the renewal period will end on Sept 27," he said after launching the Immigration Prosecution Journal here today.

Wahid said Acehnese should renew their visas at the Immigration depot of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

"They have to pay RM90 each failing which they will be overstaying and will be sent home."

He said the extension was made based on humanitarian grounds as many tsunami victims were reluctant to return to Aceh due to lack of job opportunities.

Wahid also said the department had implemented a screening system for passports of foreign visitors at 152 entry points starting last week.

"This means that my officers can now detect if tourists are using fake passports. The number of short-term visitors can also be checked via SMS."

He said some 13.4 million people had visited Malaysia since January and was confident that the 22 million target could be achieved.

Meanwhile, Immigration enforcement director Datuk Ishak Mohamed said in the first seven months, some 11,383 illegals were prosecuted in court and that 1,976 cases were still pending.

He said in the first eight months, Rela had conducted checks on 124,114 immigrants and that some 24,231 were detained.


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