KOTA KINABALU: Some 129 illegals from the Philippines have been deported home on Wednesday (Jan 11) via Sandakan port by Sabah Immigration Department.

These involved Filipinos held at Tawau immigration depot and they were send back to their origin country using MV Antonia 1 ferry bound for Zamboanga City Port in the Philippines.

According to the department, this was Series 1 of the deportation programme via sea route for 2023.

“This involved 81 men and 25 women aged between 12 to 70 years old, as well as 23 minors under the age of 12.

“The children involved in the deportation are accompanied by their parents or guardians,” said state immigration director Datuk SH Sitti Saleha Habib Yusoff.

She reminded all foreigners to ensure they had valid travel documents and work permits to be employed in Sabah before entering the country.

She added that the operation was a continuous one by the department for all illegal immigrants placed at their depots across Sabah.