PUTRAJAYA: A syndicate fraudulently running the Immigration Department’s rehiring programme has been busted, after earning some RM2.2mil in profit.
The syndicate, masterminded by a 35-year-old Malaysian known as ‘Abang Is’, was found to have cheated over 270 foreign workers from India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the department’s enforcement division and Special Tactics Team (Pastak) raided the syndicate’s premises in Kajang and Nilai, following a tip-off.
“The syndicate has been operating through a company called Growing Global Multiple Business Sdn Bhd, which is registered as a travel agency.
“The company offered rehiring services to foreign workers, even though it is publicly known that the Immigration Department’s rehiring programme ended on June 30.
“Investigations revealed that the victims paid about RM8,000 each to the firm, in the hopes of securing employment.
“The company gave them assurances that it can still conduct rehiring even though the programme has ended,” said Mustafar at a press conference here yesterday.
The department’s enforcement team first raided a house in Bandar Puteri Bangi, Kajang at 10.50am on Aug 12, where they arrested a 63-year-old Malaysian.
The team also found three Bangladeshis at the site, believed to be victims of the syndicate. They were also detained as they did not have any identification on them.
On Aug 13, the team raided another location at Taman Desa Seringin, Nilai where “Abang Is” and an accomplice, from India, were arrested.
Two cars – a Honda Accord and a Toyota Vios were also seized.
“We believe the cars were bought using the money gained from the scam,” said Mustafar.
He said “Abang Is” was arrested for offences committed under the Passport Act.
The rehiring programme for illegal immigrants began on Feb 15, 2016.
Under the programme which ended on June 30, illegal immigrants who have been issued with valid work permits would be allowed in the manufacturing, construction, plantation, agriculture and service sectors.