5 Malaysian immigration officers arrested for alleged migrant smuggling

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KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s anti-corruption watchdog has arrested nine suspects, including five enforcement officers, for allegedly smuggling migrants into Malaysia via Sabah, Bernama reported on Saturday.

The five officers – two of them women – were arrested on Thursday evening in a joint operation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the National Registration Department (JPN), Bernama reported, citing a statement issued on Saturday by the MACC.

They were between 30 and 41 years old.

The four other suspects – three men and a woman, aged between 37 and 43 – were said to be working as agents for Indonesian workers.

Bernama reported that the suspects were allegedly charging illegal immigrants about RM2,500 (S$752) each for passage from Sabah to Kuala Lumpur using stolen identities.

The victims were given boarding passes based on the names stated in the MyKads given to them. Enforcement officers who were purportedly in on the scam would then escort them outside the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

The MACC’s investigation showed that the syndicate had been operating since 2018, and had been able to smuggle from five to 20 illegal immigrants per flight via KLIA.

The commission also confiscated mobile phones, Malaysian identity cards and Sabah exit stamps, and arrested 12 illegal immigrants, Bernama reported.

The Immigration Department, in a separate statement, confirmed that five of its officers in Sabah were arrested by the MACC on Thursday.

Director-General Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said the department was leaving the matter to the MACC to investigate and would extend its cooperation to ensure a transparent and fair investigation.

“The Immigration Department will not compromise on any of its officers who commit integrity violations as these tarnish the good name and image of the department,” he said.

“We will not protect those involved. Serious action and punishment will be taken, including dismissal, against those involved,” he added....

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