KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman is zeroing in on enforcement personnel who are in cahoots with human trafficking syndicates following the arrests of 371 syndicate members during phase 3 of Ops Benteng, says Comm Datuk Huzir Mohamed (pic).
The Bukit Aman CID director said police have identified the enforcement personnel involved with the human smugglers.
"We arrested 371 syndicate members during the operation held from June 4 to June 7. The 371 are agents, ‘tekong darat’ (ground agents) transporters and those who prepared transit houses for the illegal immigrants.
"The syndicate members were responsible for arranging the entry of illegal immigrants especially those from Indonesia, Myanmar and Bangladesh through land and sea," he told a press conference in Bukit Aman on Wednesday (June 10).
The police have started busting human smuggling syndicates since phase 1 of Ops Benteng from Jan 1 to March 17 before continuing the effort during phase two from March 18 to June 3 during the movement control order (MCO) period, he added.
"During phase two, the IGP instructed the CID to form a task force to curb the entry of illegal immigrants in the country, thus preventing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
"The IGP has instructed as such as intelligence indicates that more foreigners will attempt to return to Malaysia illegally after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations," Comm Huzir said.
Overall since Jan 1, 547 syndicate members, including 41 women aged between 20 and 70, were arrested, he added.
"Those detained were Malaysians, Indonesians, Bangladeshi, Myanmar nationals and Filipinos.
"We will step up our operations against human smuggling activities to cut the chain of the syndicate's network.
"Our efforts are in line with the instructions from Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for authorities to tightened security at the country's borders nationwide," Comm Huzir said.