Migrants who violate the law to be deported within 48 hours

Police arrest a suspect. (File Photo/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

The current practice in dealing with migrants who violate the law, especially those who commit crimes, is to arrest them and see if they can be deported within 48 hours, says Home Minister Ali Ihusan.

Speaking at the third session of ‘Ahaa’, a public forum of ministers, held on Monday night, Ihusan said the incumbent administration does not tolerate migrants who commit crimes. He said that authorities work on making an immediate arrest upon learning of crimes perpetrated by migrants.

He made the remarks in response to a question regarding lack of refund of deposits paid to recruit migrant workers.

Ihusan acknowledged lags in the system, and said the government was working on speeding up the refund process.

Ihusan said the Home Ministry was working on implementing changes which will allow agents to receive refunds to the e-wallet linked to their account once migrants’ departure is confirmed. He said that agents who wish to receive cash refunds will still have that option.

“There are a lot of people waiting on refunds. But most of them are people who recruited migrants, who later fled or whose whereabouts are unknown,” he said.

Ihusan said the government keeps the deposit on hold to provide assistance if migrants are in need or need to be deported. He said the deposit is used to deport migrants who commit crimes.

“Therefore, as previously agreed, this money is used to finance the tickets for migrants who are in need or must bear responsibility for committing a crime,” he said.

The Home Ministry has established a special taskforce to deal with undocumented migrants.