Cops nab two foreigners for passport forgery


JOHOR BARU: Over the past few years, two foreign men have allegedly been involved in forging passport stamps to assist individuals overstaying in the country.

Their “customers” paid between RM650 to RM3,000 for the “service”.

The state Immigration Department uncovered their activities when the two men, one from Pakistan and the other from India, were arrested near the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex in Johor. The arrests were made around 6pm last Sunday, with enforcement officers tracking a car in the vicinity of the BSI complex.

According to Johor Immigration director Baharuddin Tahir, the Pakistani man, 30, was in the driver’s seat while the Indian national, 35, was seated beside him acting as a lookout.

“The car had stopped near the BSI taxi stand, possibly waiting for a customer. After we arrested the suspects, we found five Indian passports, six Pakistani passports, RM3,455.50, various currencies amounting to RM474.45 and four smartphones.

“The suspects are believed to have been involved in the activities since 2022 and their customers are foreigners who had overstayed in Malaysia or have issues renewing their work permits,” he told a press conference at the state Immigration headquarters in Setia Tropika here yesterday.

Baharuddin said that although the passports in the suspects’ possession appeared to be valid, the department is investigating the documents and the authenticity of the stamps. The department will probe if any of its personnel are involved with the suspects.

Brought to an end: Baharuddin (centre) together with other immigration officers showing pictures of the two foreign men’s arrest, during a press conference at the immigration headquarters in Setia Tropika, Johor Baru. — BernamaBrought to an end: Baharuddin (centre) together with other immigration officers showing pictures of the two foreign men’s arrest, during a press conference at the immigration headquarters in Setia Tropika, Johor Baru. — Bernama

The foreign men are being investigated under the Immigration Act for various offences, including using or possessing a fake social visit pass, possessing the passports or travel documents of others without a valid reason and entering the country without a valid pass.

If found guilty they can be jailed for not more than five years or a fine not exceeding RM10,000, or both.

On a separate matter, Baharuddin said undocumented foreigners who wished to sign up for the Migrant Repatriation Programme could do so at the Immigration offices in Batu Pahat and Muar starting April 1.

He said when the programme began on March 1, submissions could only be made at the department’s office at Wisma Persekutuan in Jalan Air Molek here.

“A total of 1,321 applications have been received in Johor as of March 25, with fines totalling RM660,500.

“Indonesians topped the list of applicants followed by those from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Middle East countries,” he said.

In January, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the programme, which enables undocumented foreigners to return to their home countries, would start on March 1.

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