KOTA KINABALU: Authorities here have busted a tour company operated by a Korean dive instructor and three local guides.
The Korean is now being investigated for illegally providing tour services while the locals are probed for offering their tour buses and services to the Korean.
Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTAC) director Ahamad Zaki Abu Bakar said the bust was made during an integrated operation with the police, City Hall and Immigration Department at about 10am.
"We will be gathering statements from these four people from Thursday onwards and we will commence legal proceedings after all statements are recorded," he added.
Ahamad Zaki said items including laptops, hard discs, and documents including contract agreements, invoices, and the contact details of tourists obtained from the licenced tour operators were also seized in the operation.
He said initial investigations found that the suspects operated in an office in the city and sold land and sea tour packages with accommodations.
Ahamad Zaki said that the Korean could be charged under the Tourism Act 1992 for operating a tour business without licence.
"A person can face a jail term of up to five years or penalty up to RM50,000," he added.
He said that the licenced tour operators would be investigated for business dealings with unlicenced operators and added that they could face a two-year jail sentence or a fine if found guilty.
"MOTAC has the power to revoke their licence and tour bus permits with immediate effect," Ahamad Zaki said, adding this bust is part of their ongoing operations against illegal tour operators statewide.
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