Illegal migrant workers in Malaysia (Photo: AFP/VNA)
 
 Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysian authorities have announced that 2,309 illegal migrant workers in Malaysia were arrested and will be deported in one of the largest crackdowns in recent years. 

Saravana Kumar in charge of the Immigration Department's enforcement, investigation and prosecution, said the crackdown began on July 1 across the country in places such as factories and restaurants.
 

The majority of those arrested are from Bangladesh and Indonesia, and entered the country with tourist visas and without proper work permits, he said, adding that 52 employers were arrested on suspicion of hiring undocumented workers.

Activists said most of the undocumented workers were victims of human trafficking and fraud, who have incurred massive debts after paying recruitment agents in the hope of working abroad to escape poverty at home.

According to Kumar, authorities will determine whether those who are held are trafficking victims.

Malaysia relies heavily on migrant workers from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal for jobs in plantations and construction. It has some two million registered migrant workers and an equal number of undocumented ones.-VNA