PETALING JAYA: Twenty-six people have been arrested for involvement in a syndicate forging passes under a rehiring scheme for foreigners.
Under the scheme, a foreigner has to fork out RM18,000 to an agent or middleman for a Temporary Employment Visit Pass and the Residence Pass and another RM7,000 upon getting them.
Following the initial arrest, the Immigration Department continued its operation into companies listed in a “rehiring programme” owned by several Datuks.
Its director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said under Ops Serkap, its officers had raided several premises around its headquarters in Putrajaya and Klang Valley and arrested 18 foreigners, including three women, and eight Malaysians.
He said that the initial probe showed that six Malaysian men were agents.
“A confession from one of the arrested agents found that they paid between RM18,000 and RM50,000 to the syndicate to acquire a Residence Pass sticker.
“But until now, they have failed to get the stickers for the foreigners who have made payment,” he said, adding that passports and immigration documents were also found in a car seized from an agent.
Some of the pages in the passports were torn while documents listed the companies involved in the rehiring programme, he said.
Following this, Mustafar said the department conducted a 48-hour operation on the companies, said to be owned by Datuks.
He said that on Feb 28, two local men, believed to be masterminds of the forging syndicate, were arrested.
“Several companies were also raided, and we found that the owners of a few foreign-owned firms had made use of local single mothers to obtain company licences used to register and process rehiring applications to MyEG using fake documents and certificates,” he said.
“Those arrested are being held at the KLIA Immigration Detention Depot for further investigation and action.
“The Malaysians arrested will be remanded for four days to help in the investigation.”