IPOH: A husband and wife, both locals, have been detained in connection with migrant trafficking activities, says Perak police chief Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri.
Twelve foreigners, a Timor Leste national and 11 Indonesians, were also arrested in a pre-dawn special operation in Hilir Perak on Wednesday (Nov 29).
"During the operation, with the assistance of the marine police land unit, we arrested the couple and an Indonesian man, whose role was to transport trafficked migrants.
"We also found and arrested 10 other Indonesian migrants who were being smuggled into the country through the waterways in Sungai Tiang, Teluk Intan," he told a press conference at state police contingent headquarters here on Friday (Dec 1).
"At about 6.30am the same day, we arrested the Timor Leste national, believed to be a migrant trafficking agent, at a banana plantation in Hutan Melintang," he said.
The ages of those arrested range from 25 to 60, he added.
Comm Mohd Yusri said the syndicate would receive payments of between RM1,500 and RM1,800 for each migrant smuggled.
"The migrants would then be transported around the country," he said, adding that the case is being investigated under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007.
"Those convicted can be jailed up to 20 years or fined, or both, with whipping.
"All those arrested have been remanded under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012," he added.
Comm Mohd Yusri said the police have conducted 10 raids and arrested 17 locals and 184 foreign migrants for various offences under Atipsom.
"We urge the people not to be involved in smuggling activities.
"We welcome any information related to human trafficking activities so that we can deter these activities and ensure the state is peaceful and safe," he added.