A total of 171 migrant workers were intercepted, and one-third of them arrested, during a series of raids by Malaysian authorities at a main market in Kuantan, Pahang state, on Saturday morning.

Officers from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Kuantan Municipal Council and the Companies Commission of Malaysia paid unannounced visits to the Pasar Besar Kuantan at 9am, the Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia) reported.

During the three-hour operation, 171 foreigners from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam and Egypt were inspected in 25 shops in the market.

Among them, 53 toilet attendants, restaurant workers and factory workers were arrested for not having proper permits, thus allegedly violating their conditions of stay in Malaysia.

They were referred to the Pahang Immigration Department for further investigation.