Mastermind of illegal foreigners smuggling was arrested

Alor Setar: A Myanmar man was arrested by the Immigration Department for being the mastermind of supplying illegal foreign workers and illegal immigrants.

JIM Kedah director Mohd Ridzzuan Mohd Zain said the 53 year old man, who is also a UNHCR card holder, was arrested along with his 55 year old wife and their two years old daughter.

He said, during the raid from 10:30 pm to 2 am this morning, a total of 30 Myanmar nationals were also arrested in Taman Ria Jaya and Taman Batik in Sungai Petani.

“When arrested, the suspect, who is believed to be providing illegal migrant worker transit services to employers, also housed five women and a child in his home,” he said at a press conference at the Kedah JIM Office.

Mohd Ridzzuan said that the raid was led to the arrest of 26 Patis consisting of 16 men and 10 women who were placed in an empty building, lined with boxes and locked from the outside.

Investigation later found that Pati entered the country through several border gates and staying in Sungai Petani before being distributed to employers who needed workers.

“This mastermind has lived in Malaysia for 35 years and is fluent in Malay. In fact, we are investigating the suspect’s involvement in the syndicate network and the period during which he was active in human trafficking,” he said.

Mohd Ridzzuan said that the owner of the premises used as a transit location for Pati will also be investigated.

In the meantime, he said, when interrogated, the suspect confirmed that all Patis were placed in the building after receiving a request from the employer.

“Their employer is from Johor, only 20 people have been hired and they will take the rest in the near future.

“This case is being investigated in accordance with Section 6(1)(c) and Section 15 (1) (c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 as well as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrant Act (ATIPSOM) 2007,” he said.

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