Immigration Department raids ewaste recycling factory, discovers over half a million ringgit in cash

PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department finds more than half a million ringgit in cash during a raid on a factory that hired illegal immigrants.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh, at a press conference on Wednesday (March 20) at the Home Ministry headquarters here, said that the raid was conducted on Tuesday (March 19) at a factory that processed recycled electronics in Port Klang.

The raid was conducted after a month's worth of surveillance work following complaints by members of the public.

A total of 48 people were arrested, including several Chinese nationals who were board members of the company. Among those arrested also included the director and owner of the factory.

Of the 48 people arrested, 38 were Myanmar nationals.

"A 16-year-old boy from Myanmar was also detained during the raid. Therefore, we are also investigating the matter under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act," he said.

He added that the workers also stayed on-site at the factory.

Investigations showed that the factory would recover precious metals from electronic waste. The metals would then be resold for profit in local and overseas markets.

"They have been in operation for quite some time, around two years," he said.

During the raid, immigration officers also seized RM688,900 in cash.

"According to what we currently know, the money is believed to have been intended to pay their workers.

"Whether or not they were paid weekly or monthly is something that we are still investigating," he said.

Two Malaysians have also been issued notices to report to the department to have their statements recorded.

"All detainees have been placed at the Bukit Jalil depot," he said, adding that the detainees were aged 16 to 78 years old.

Meanwhile, Ruslin also said that as of Tuesday afternoon, 6,824 people have registered themselves under the Migrant Repatriation Programme, which enabled undocumented foreigners who willingly came forward to be sent back to their home countries without being prosecuted.

"Of that, 11,943 have been sent back to their home countries," he said, adding that the rest will also be sent back soon.

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