JOHOR BARU: The High Court here has sentenced a man who pleaded guilty to being part of an organised crime syndicate to five years in jail.
Mohammad Zaheer Ali pleaded guilty in front of High Court Judge Abu Bakar Katar after the charge was read out to him here on Wednesday (Nov 29).
According to the charge sheet, the 34-year-old was found to be a member of organised crime syndicate, Geng Otong, which is an offence under Section 130V(1) of the Penal Code (Section 574) and can be sentenced under the same Act.
The offence carries a prison sentence of not less than five years and not more than 20 years upon conviction.
According to the charge sheet, Geng Otong was carrying out human smuggling activities involving illegal immigrants from Indonesia in Kota Tinggi between 2015 and 2020.
Police investigations found that Mohammad Zaheer, who acted as the "tekong darat" (ground coordinator), managed the travel time and boat departure locations as well as instructed a transporter to pick up the illegal immigrants to be sent to transit premises.
He took payments of between RM250 and RM350 for each illegal immigrant and managed to help some 10,000 Indonesians return to their country through illegal land routes during the period.
Mohammad Zaheer also had been paying off enforcement agencies officials to smoothen the human smuggling activities to make sure no arrests were made against the illegal immigrants.
Judge Abu Bakar then sentenced Mohammad Zaheer to five years in jail. He ordered that Mohammad Zaheer start his imprisonment from the date of his arrest, which was on June 4, 2020.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Faris Ab Jalil prosecuted the case while lawyer Muzammil Hairiri represented the accused.