JOHOR BARU: Johor police have smashed a major human-trafficking syndicate following the arrest of 40 people, including 19 Indonesian nationals.
State police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the group has been quite active along the east coast of Johor since 2014.
He pointed out that investigations revealed the syndicate has been smuggling in and out between 500 and 600 undocumented immigrants per month.
“We conducted an operation, with the assistance of Bukit Aman, to arrest the suspects between June 4 and 7 throughout Johor.
“The operation led to the arrest of 40 suspects, with 21 of them are locals, including a woman holding permanent resident status, ” he said in a press conference here on Monday (June 8).
He also said that the syndicate would charge between RM1,200 and RM1,400 per head to smuggle the immigrants either in or out of Malaysia.
Comm Ayob added that the syndicate was well organised as those arrested were working as agents, transporters, land tekong, and guardians for the immigrants staying in houses.
He added that police also seized 16 cars, a van, eight boats and 114 mobile phones from the syndicate.
“We have arrested about 95% of the syndicate members and we have also identified the mastermind behind the group, who is staying in Batam.
“Johor police will be requesting assistance from our Indonesian counterparts to find the suspect there, ” he said.