Another human smuggling syndicate busted in Kelantan

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Rohingya men were among 10 undocumented foreigners detained after a people smuggling attempt was thwarted by the Immigration Department in Kelantan.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said the operation was conducted by their special tactical team around Kota Baru on Feb 24.

"Our investigation led us to track down a vehicle, which stopped at a petrol station near Wakaf Che Yeh.

"Seeing authorities nearing the vehicle, the suspect sped off but we managed to intercept the vehicle.

"We detained a Rohingya man, believed to be the human smuggling syndicate's mastermind. We also detained four Myanmar nationals aged between 19 and 21.," he said in a statement on Wednesday (Feb 28).

It is learnt the suspect had stopped the vehicle at a petrol station as they were waiting for an express bus that would transport the undocumented foreigners to Kuala Lumpur, he said.

"Further investigation led police to a house where an air rifle was seized.

"The Immigration team also raided another house in Pengkalan Kubor, Kota Baru where another Rohingya man, believed to be the mastermind's right-hand man, was detained.

"We also detained four male Myanmar nationals aged between 16 and 27," he said.

The syndicate's modus operandi is to smuggle in undocumented Myanmar nationals through illegal passages at night, Ruslin said.

"The foreigners will then be placed at a transit house before they are transported to Kuala Lumpur using express buses.

"We believe the syndicate has been operating for six months and charged each undocumented foreigner between RM500 and RM1,000," he said,

Those detained were brought to the Kelantan Immigration officer for further investigation, he said.

"We also seized two vehicles used by the syndicate.

"We will continue with such operations in the future," he said.

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