JOHOR BARU: Confident that they had valid documents and permits, a group of 38 foreign workers from a computer component factory in the Tebrau Industrial Estate here cooperated with an enforcement team from the Johor Immigration Department.
Some of the foreign workers were also seen coolly having their lunch, while their co-workers carried on working in full view of the raid on their premises.
However, this sense of calm was short-lived when the enforcement team found out that the workers were in possession of invalid documents.
With that, all the foreign workers in the factory were considered working without valid legal documents.
Immigration assistant deputy director Kharulanuar Abu Bakar, who led the operation, said the employer had failed to provide relevant documents and permits.
"The employer also failed to show copies of the documents as they claimed to have paid an employment agency to deal with the foreign workers permits.
"The employer had assumed that they were legally employed," he said.
Under normal circumstances, Kharulanuar said, the employment agency should provide copies of the relevant processing documents to the employer to facilitate matters if there was an Immigration Department inspection.
He said a 49-year-old Malaysian man was requested to assist the Immigration Department authorities in relation to the case at the Home Ministry Complex in Setia Tropika here.
The foreign workers are currently being detained at the Pekan Nenas Immigration Depot pending investigations.
Among the violations were not having valid passes and permits under Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/1963.
The workers and employer are also being investigated under Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 and the Passport Act 1960.
Kharulanuar advised employers to be aware and not to take any shortcuts with regard to the documentation of foreign workers.
"As employers, they should care for the welfare of their workers and should be responsible for all proper standard procedures pertaining to documentation and also permits," he said.