BUTTERWORTH: Burglars stole 66 foreign passports in a break-in at the Penang Immigration headquarters in Seberang Jaya last week.
State Immigration Department director Mohd Zambery Abdulla Aziz said the burglars also stole 2,153 multi-use stickers used for visas, social visit passes and temporary work permits.
He said among the passports stolen, 23 were from Indonesia, 13 from Thailand, eight from India, seven from Singapore, three from the Philippines, two from Japan and one each from China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Taiwan.
“The passports were submitted to us for extension of stay in the country. We would produce letters for the owners to submit to their embassies for new passports to be made,” he said.
He said the burglars broke into the department’s enforcement unit office on the first floor and passport unit on the second floor.
“Our checks on the computers showed that none of the application forms or processed passports were missing from our records.”
Responding to questions if “insiders” were involved in the incident, he said: “I leave it to the police to investigate. I do not want to say anything that would jeopardise their investigation.”
He said the multi-use stickers could be misused by the thieves to legalise the “illegal stay” of foreigners on social visit passes, levy payments and extensions for work permits.
He cautioned employers not to fall prey to the burglars.
“We have blacklisted the serial numbers of the stolen stickers,” he added.
He said anyone found to have falsified or illegally amended any endorsement on any document to be used as visa, permit or pass would be charged under Section 55D of the Immigration Act, 1959/63 (ACT A 985) amended 2002.
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