MACC lauds cooperation with Immigration Dept to cripple syndicate involved in border stamp forgery

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has thanked Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud for his assistance that led to the crippling of a syndicate invovled in abusing the use of the department’s entry and exit stamp for foreign workers and illegal immigrants.

Its chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said Khairul cooperated in investigating and carrying out surveillance works on the case, even though the case involved his personnel.

“It is not easy to get the cooperation of a department head in this case, which has allowed the MACC to act on the issue of corruption within the department. His commitment in fighting corruption is highly commended, ” he said on Wednesday (Nov 18).

Azam said MACC welcomes cooperation in the form of investigation and intelligence from other agencies in the fight against corruption and power abuse.

“As for our working relations with the Immigration Department, this is not the first, and will uncover other cases of syndicated crimes, ” he said.

The MACC has crippled the activities of a syndicate providing “immigration services” to foreign workers and illegal immigrants.

In a nationwide blitz codenamed “Ops Selat”, 46 people - 27 Immigration officers, 14 foreign workers agents and five civilians who acted as middlemen in the syndicate’s activities were arrested.

On Tuesday (Nov 17), the MACC brought 44 of the suspects to court to obtain a remand order.

Twenty three suspects - 14 of them Immigration officers, were remanded in Putrajaya, 13 individuals including eight Immigration staff were remanded in Johor Baru and three of the department officers were among four remanded in Shah Alam.

Four civilians were remanded in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in connection with the case.

The syndicate, whose members include Immigration officers, have taken the advantage of the lockdown imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic to provide illegal services to foreign workers and illegal immigrants.

Believed to have been operating for about a year, the syndicate’s services is said to have seen higher demand since the start of the MCO in March.

However, graft busters got wind of it and after months of surveillance, the anti-graft authorities made a round of arrests, putting an end to the syndicate’s activities.

In an immediate response on the arrest of his men, the Immigration chief said the department will not compromise with staff who abuse their power for personal gains.

“Those involved must be prepared to face legal action and face imprisonment or be sacked, if they are found guilty, ” said Khairul.

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