The Department of Immigration is receiving complaints from the public of foreigners selling local produce brought to Male’ from the atolls.
Controller of Immigration Ilyas Hussein told Voice of Maldives that owners of stalls at the local market had requested the deportation of illegal migrant workers in the market area.
Ilyas said local businesses have been informed not to employ foreigners without valid work visas.
Meanwhile, the Human Resources Ministry has launched a joint operation with police to identify illegal immigrants in the atolls, reports Haveeru.
Deputy Minister Hussein said the ministry was collecting information from island offices and confiscating passports, which will be sent to the Department of Immigration.
The deportation process will be handled by the department using deposit funds, he said, adding that the ministry received a list of about 30 people last week from Laamu and Seenu atolls.
The Human Resource Ministry estimates that there are 16,000 illegal immigrants in the country.