JOHOR BARU: Some 24 illegal immigrants, including 10 involved in a human trafficking syndicate, have been arrested by the authorities here.
Johor Police Chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the police, together with the armed forces (ATM), Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Customs Department and the Immigration Department had crushed a human trafficking syndicate following the arrest of 20 of its members, 10 of whom are locals, in a series of raids.
"The arrests were made from nine raids between April 22 and April 27 in the Iskandar Puteri and Kota Tinggi areas.
"The 20 syndicate members consist of nine local men, one local woman, as well as nine Indonesian men and one Indonesian woman, all aged 20 to 57," he said during a press conference on Thursday (April 30).
He said the authorities also seized an imitation gun, eight live bullets, a Proton Wira used to ferry the immigrants, 27 mobile phones, 3.95mil Indonesian rupiah (RM1,132) and RM2,000 in cash.
The police have identified several masterminds, including those working for the authorities, said Comm Ayob.
"There are about 20 syndicates in the state that we have identified, and their members also consist of those working for the authorities.
"Do not be surprised if someone from the one of these organisations is also arrested," he said.
Comm Ayob added that in two separate cases, the MMEA detained 11 immigrants in Pantai Kampung Wakaf, Teluk Ramunia, while the Bayu Damai police detained another eight.
These additional 19 immigrants are aged between 22 and 45.
He also warned landlords, property owners, as well as bus and taxi drivers, not to get involved in the housing and transportation of immigrants.
The cases are investigated under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act, Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, Sections 8 and 36 of the Arms Act 1960, as well as Rule 11 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (PCID) Regulations 2020.
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