Government probing alleged sale of fake UNHCR cards

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has launched a probe on the alleged sale of fake United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) refugee cards to illegal migrants, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the government was monitoring the situation and a police report had been lodged so that action could be taken against the culprit.

"We have ordered the National Security Council (NSC) to lodge a police report so the police can investigate. If we look at the daily situation in front of the UNHCR office, thousands of people queue up every day to apply for the card.

“But once they come out of the office, we know that none of them has valid documentation. It is hard to tell their status so we lodge a report to stop the selling of the card," he told William Leong Jee Keen (PKR-Selayang) during question time on Tuesday.

Leong had asked the government to reveal action it was taking after it was alleged that fake UNHCR cards were being sold between RM1,500 and RM3,500.

Shahidan said the government wanted to put a stop from more refugees coming into the country and to just apply for the UNHCR cad.

"This should not happen. As some of them maybe had previous criminals in their countries and easily apply for the card thinking that they will receive some sort of protection using the UNHCR card," he said.

He also noted the matter was discussed with the Prime Minister whether to allow refugees to work in certain sectors in the country.

"This is because they are already here…rather than bringing more workers from outside," he said.

He said those holding the UNHCR card can temporarily stay in the country before they would be sent back to their home country.

According to the UNHCR Malaysia statistics, as at Oct 31, there are 154, 219 refugees registered, with more than 90% of them from Myanmar.
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