Abuja - The Federal Government on Monday said it would give assistance to Nigerians affected by the crackdown launched by the Malaysian against undocumented immigrants.
The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ogbole Ode, made this known in Abuja.
Ode said the ministry was aware of the arrests of some Nigerians in the south-east Asian country after a January 21 deadline for undocumented migrants to regularise their stay.
He said the Nigerian mission in Malaysia would ensure that Nigerians detained in the country were treated fairly before the Malaysian authorities took a decision on their immigration status.
No fewer than 200 Nigerians have been arrested in Malaysia since the clampdown on illegal immigrants commenced.
However, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ambassador Bello Ringim, said: "there has not been a situation where 200 Nigerians were arrested in a swoop."
He said that Malaysian law enforcement agencies had the power to detain illegal immigrants for an initial two weeks, which could be extended, before deportation.
Ringim said the issue of arrest in Malaysia was a common thing and not peculiar to Nigerians living in the country.
"Nationals of the neighbouring countries, like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Filipinos, have been arrested in their thousands for committing one offence or the other.
"Nigerians students too have been arrested mostly for immigration offences, internet scam, drug trafficking, prostitution, which the Mission has communicated to the headquarters,’’ he said.
At the weekend, the Director-General of Malaysia’s Immigration Department, Aloyah Mamat, said more than 3 700 illegal migrants and 30 employers had been detained in the second phase of a nationwide crackdown on illegal aliens.
According to a report posted on the website of Immigration Department of Malaysia, Indonesians are the highest number of those arrested.
The report stated that there were 1 400 Indonesians being held followed by Myanmar, 537; Bangladeshi, 451; Filipinos, 264; and Nepalese, 239.
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