Hundreds of Rohingya illegal migrants from Myanmar had escaped the temporary Immigration depot in Bandar Baharu, Kedah yesterday (20 April) after a riot broke out, with 6 killed on a highway as they fled.
According to the Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud, they had died due to road accidents.
“They were hit by a passing vehicle while crossing the road,” he said in a statement.
He explained that a protest that happened earlier in the morning turned into a riot that led to some 528 undocumented migrants to escaped from the detention centre in Kedah.
“They broke doors and grills to the block before escaping.”
“Officers on duty had alerted the police and relevant agencies on the escape,” Khairul Dzaimee said.
Meanwhile, 171 Rohingya refugees were comprising 131 men, 28 women and 12 boys were still at large.
The Immigration director-general said they are actively looking for the remaining detainees with the help of the police and RELA. He also urged those with information to contact the Immigration or the police as soon as possible.
In addition, he said an investigation into the breakout of 528 Rohingya detainees at the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot in Kedah will be conducted by Kedah police.
Meanwhile, Penang Police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said they will help in finding those who managed to escape and also investigate the cause of an accident that killed six detainees.
He said Penang police were carrying out operations such as mounting roadblocks on 3 main roads, namely Jalan Sungai Baung, Sungai Bakap; Jalan Tasek Valdor, Simpang Ampat; and Jalan Kerian, Nibong Tebal.
“All personnel at the Seberang Perai Selatan IPD have been deployed to join the arrest teams comprising 17 (search) parties not exceeding 80 officers,” he said.
He said the initial police investigation found that those who fled were headed south but their destination was not known.
“Those who fled were not wearing shoes … I believe they are now tired and weak after almost 12 hours of walking. So I would like to appeal to the public who are aware of the incident to contact police,” he said.