Kedah Immigration Dept nab mastermind of UNHCR fake card holder

ALOR SETAR: A Myanmar man holding a United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) card was arrested with 32 other Myanmar nationals during raids at two locations in Sungai Petani on Tuesday.

Kedah Immigration director Mohd Ridzzuan Mohd Zain said they also arrested the man's wife, 55, in the operation at 10.25pm on Monday night (Feb 19).

He said the 53-year-old with the UNHCR card is suspected to be the mastermind behind the supply of illegal foreign workers to areas in the north of the peninsula and is believed to have been active since the middle of last year.

"In the first raid at Taman Ria Jaya, a man who is believed to be the mastermind of a syndicate was arrested with five Myanmar women and a girl, who are believed to not possess valid passes or permits to stay in this country.

"Upon interrogation on the man, a second raid was conducted on a premise in Taman Batik where 26 foreigners, comprising 10 men and 16 women, were detained for not having valid passes or permits,” he told a media conference here on Tuesday.

Mohd Ridzzuan said the main suspect is believed to have lived in Malaysia for the past 35 years and is fluent in Malay.

He said they did not find any elements of abuse despite the iron gates at the premise being locked from the outside and the keys held by the man.

"He did this to prevent the other illegal foreigners from going out and roaming around or running away. He also admitted to providing two meals a day for those inside the premise,” he said.

He said those detained have been remanded for 14 days at the Belantik Immigration Depot for investigations under the Immigration Act 1959/63 and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007.

"We will also summon the owner of the premise for further investigation under Section 55E (1) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for allowing illegal immigrants to stay,” he said. - Bernama

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Immigration , Kedah , UNHCR , Operation , Detain


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