Cops rescue 73 individuals from human trafficking syndicates in large-scale operation

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 73 individuals, including 22 children and three disabled persons, were rescued nationwide after they were exploited by human trafficking syndicates.

The victims were rescued in a large-scale operation codenamed "Ops Mega Pintas" on June 12 conducted by Bukit Aman CID's Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) division (D3) along with othe departments within the police force and other enforcement agencies, including the Immigration Department.

Bukit Aman CID deputy director Deputy Comm Fadil Marsus said 113 suspected human traffickers were also detained in the operation, which was conducted simultaneously nationwide.

"Those detained were locals as well as foreigners from Bangladesh, Indonesia, China and Thailand.

"We also rescued 73 people - 25 men, 26 women and 22 children.

"The victims were locals as well as those from the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar,, and Thailand.

"They were victims of forced labour and human trafficking," he told a press conference in Bukit Aman on Thursday (June 20).

Among those rescued were three disabled persons, he said.

"They were a local woman and two Bangladeshi men.

"The woman was a victim of sex exploitation while the men were used by a beggar syndicate," he said.

DCP Fadil said the investigation is being carried out under various laws including Section 12 and Section 14 of the Atipsom Act 2007 and the Immigration Act.

"The focus of the operation is to identify victims of human trafficking and forced labour based on the national Guideline on Human Trafficking indicators (NGHTI) 2.0.

"We view human trafficking activiites seriously and stern action will be taken against any individuals and syndicates involved in such illegal activities," he said.

DCP Fadil also urged the public to supply relevant information on human trafficking.

"We need the cooperation of the public in successfully curbing human trafficking crimes.

"Those with information should contact the nearest police station," he said.

DCP Fadil said among indicators of forced labour are physical violence against the victims as well as keeping identification documents of workers.

"Other indicators are not paying salaries, overworking workers and non-conducive hostels and workplaces.

"Movements of human trafficking victims are also limited or even prohibited," he said.

DCP Fadil said human traffickers used various tactics, including tricking workers to be employed in a job not of their choosing.

"We are also not ruling out the involvement of job agencies from origin countries in duping victims," he said.

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