Victim of sex exploitation foreign woman rescued

MEDIA STATEMENT
IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT OF MALAYSIA

The Malaysian Immigration Department has conducted a rescue operation for foreign nationals suspected of being victims of human trafficking on 29 January 2024 in Kuala Lumpur.

The operation which started at around 4.30pm was carried out by a team of officers and members from the Operational Intelligence Unit of ATIPSOM & AMLA’s Prevention Division, Putrajaya Immigration Headquarters.

Based on information by the High Commission of the Republic of Tanzania in Kuala Lumpur and intelligence conducted, a 29-year-old Tanzanian woman was rescued in an operation to combat human trafficking.

The operation team also used a preliminary investigation approach for the identification of victims of human trafficking based on the National Guideline on Human Trafficking Indicators 2.0.

The Tanzanian woman is believed to be a victim of exploitation by being promised a job by the syndicate that manages her entry into the country.

The woman was controlled by a syndicate member who is also a Tanzanian citizen to be exploited as a sex worker in addition to her passport being held and kept against her will. The woman was rescued and placed in a shelter under an Interim Protection Order (IPO).

Following on from the information obtained, the operation team has identified an apartment house premises that is used as a residence for syndicate members. The suspect refused to open the door and did not cooperate at first, forcing the operation team to storm into the premises. A 32-year-old Tanzanian woman known as ‘madam’ who is suspected of abusing Student Pass has been successfully arrested by the operation team.

JIM has started an investigation to see the offense under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007 (Act 670).

JIM will continue to work with the embassies of the countries involved in tracking down the masterminds and other members of the syndicate in relation to information about human trafficking activities among those citizens. The identified syndicate’s modus operandi is to promise jobs including the opportunity to further study in Malaysia.

In addition, syndicate members were found to often move from one luxury residence to another in order to avoid their criminal activities being detected by the authorities.

JIM always takes this matter seriously and will continue enforcement operations and will take strict action against any party found to have committed an offense under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007 (ACT 670).

Any individual convicted can be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison or life imprisonment and can also be punished with whipping for more serious human trafficking offences. In fact, for any offense under the ATIPSOM Act that is convicted to an employer, employee or agent can be punished with a heavier penalty as provided by the ATIPSOM Act.

The public is advised to continue to channel information to the Malaysian Immigration Department or call 03-8000 8000, if there is information on foreigners being exploited so that legal action can be taken in an effort to combat the crime of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

DATO’ RUSLIN BIN JUSOH
HEAD DIRECTOR
IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT OF MALAYSIA

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