PETALING JAYA: A total of 27 people, including 22 foreign women working as Guest Relations Officers (GROs), were arrested following a raid on an entertainment outlet in Puchong, says Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud.
The Immigration Department director-general said the GROs - 20 Thai nationals and two Vietnamese - earned a 15% tip for every alcoholic beverage sold to customers.
"The three-storey outlet provides the services of GROs, who accompany customers when they are enjoying their alcoholic beverages.
"The GROs also serve the drinks to the customers," he said in a statement on Friday (Jan 24).
The outlet was raided at about 11pm Thursday (Jan 23) when the patrons and workers were in the midst of a Chinese New Year party, he added.
"Upon realising the presence of department personnel, the outlet's caretaker alerted the GROs to flee through a secret passageway.
"A few vehicles were already on standby outside the outlet, for the GROs to escape but we managed to thwart their attempt," he added.
Some of the women even hid inside a drain to evade capture but to no avail, Khairul Dzaimee said.
"Besides the women, we also arrested a Bangladeshi man and four local men, who managed the GROs and worked as their transporters.
"Initial investigations revealed that the outlet also handed out flower garlands and tiaras to the customers. The items are used to book their chosen GROs. Each item are worth between RM50 and RM1,000," Khairul Dzaimee said.
The department also seized RM4,921 cash and the four vehicles, which were supposed to be used for the GROs' escape, he added.
"We will record the statements of customers and other workers at the outlet.
"Those detained were brought the Immigration detention depot in Bukit Jalil for further investigations," he said.