Passport forgery syndicate busted during ‘Ops Vista Mutiara’ in Kepong

PUTRAJAYA: A passport forgery syndicate that has been active in Kepong for the past year was finally busted in a raid.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said a team from the Intelligence and Special Operations Division carried out the operation, dubbed " Ops Vista Mutiara, " on Monday (Nov 20).

"The team first intercepted two Bangladeshi men aged 26 and 28 at around 6.30am at Kepong Commercial Park.

"Checks revealed they were carrying 61 fake Indonesian and Myanmar passports," he told reporters on Tuesday (Nov 21).

He said the men were believed to be on their way to dispatch the passports to customers.

"Acting on the information gained by interrogating the suspects, the operation team went to an apartment and arrested the syndicate's mastermind, known as “Shimul”, aged 33.

"The raid also led to the seizure of 16 Indonesian and Bangladeshi passports suspected to be fake, two laptops and a printer," he said.

He added that the syndicate's modus operandi was to offer its services to foreigners without passports or identification documents from Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Nepal.

"These passports will be sold for between RM500 to RM700.

"Our investigation found that the syndicate could produce five to 10 copies of fake passports daily," he said.

Ruslin added that the syndicate printed the passport at the apartment.

"Our checks revealed the syndicate received payments online and would post the passports once completed.

"All the suspects have been remanded for 14 days for investigation under the Immigration Act 1959/63, the Passport Act 1966 and the Immigration Regulations 1963,” he said.

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