PUTRAJAYA: Forty-nine illegal immigrants (PATI) had been detained in the “Ops Gelombang” launched by the Malaysian Immigration Department on 26th Oct.2022 at several locations in Kelantan.
Director General of Malaysian Immigration, Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud said, the operation started at 6.00pm with 32 officers from the Intelligence and Special Operation Unit, Immigration Head Office, Putrajaya and aided by the Malaysian Immigration Department of Kelantan.
Khairul said, in the operation at the Main Bus Terminal Kota Bharu and Pasir Mas, the operation team had detained eight males from Malaysia aged between 17-37 years that acted as transporter for the human trafficking syndicate.
“Also detained were 49 PATI including 32 males, 16 males and a female child from Myanmar. They were believed to have arrived from the neighbouring country via the “rat route” and then transferred to 10 vehicles to the bus terminals.
“Based on the public information and intelligence work for two weeks, the operation team found that the syndicate’s modus operandi was smuggling the PATI via the sea route crossing the Malaysia-Thailand border.
“The “mastermind” of the syndicate was believed to have charged a fee between RM6, 000 to RM7, 000 for each PATI to enter Malaysia. All the PATI will be brought to certain location outside Kelantan such as Klang Valley, Melaka, Pulau Pinang and Johor Bahru to work illegally.
“For the female PATI, they are believed to be working as massager or offered in sex services,” Khairul said in a statement here today.
Khairul added, the syndicate was believed to be active since May 2022 after the border of the two countries was reopened. The investigation earlier had found that the syndicate had targeted the PATI from Myanmar, Bangladesh and India who attempt to get job opportunities illegally in this country.
“Based on estimation 160 PATI a month were brought in by the syndicate and the government had incurred losses worth RM1.7 million in estimation in the form of foreign workers’ levy,” Khairul said.
Khairul highlighted that all the illegal immigrants were detained for having breached the Immigration Act 1959/63 and Passport Act 1966 and Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling (ANTIPSOM) 2007.
Meanwhile the eight Malaysian males will be charged in the court for remand detention order under Section 17, Criminal Procedure Code for investigation.
However, Khairul said the eight vehicles of various kinds worth RM200, 000 in estimation will be seized for further action by the department. – Malaysia World News