People smuggling ring busted in Kelantan, eight nabbed

KUALA LUMPUR: A syndicate responsible for smuggling undocumented immigrants into the country and masterminded by a Pakistani man has been busted following several raids in Kelantan.

Eight men aged between 30 and 50 years old, also Pakistanis, were detained in the raids in the east coast state on Monday (Sept 11).

Immigration director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said the raiding team first followed a vehicle transporting the immigrants at Pasir Mas before intercepting them and detaining three Pakistani men.

"One of the three was a transporter for the syndicate.

"A second team then raided a house in Pasir Tumboh, Kota Baru used as a transit point. They detained five Pakistani men, including the mastermind behind the operation.

"The mastermind holds a long-term social visit pass as he is married to a local while the transporter has a temporary working visit pass (PLKS)," he said in a statement on Thursday (Sept 14).

Among the items seized were RM2,000 cash, eight Pakistani passports with no entry stamp into Malaysia, and two vehicles used for smuggling people, Ruslin added.

"The syndicate would smuggle illegals from Pakistan by flights into Thailand. They would then be brought to an illegal jetty before being transported into Malaysia.

"Each undocumented immigrant is charged between RM6,000 and RM7,000 for the syndicate's services.

"They will be brought to a destination outside Kelantan such as the Klang Valley, Melaka, Penang and Johor Baru for work," he said.

Ruslin said the syndicate has been active since May last year, targeting mainly undocumented workers from Pakistan looking for jobs in Malaysia.

"The mastermind and transporter are being investigated for offences under the Anti-Human Trafficking and Anti Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (Atipsom) while six other Pakistani men were held under the Immigration Act 1959/63 and Passports Act 1966," he said.

"All of them are being held at the Immigration depot in Taman Merah for further investigation," he added.

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