Immigration Department foils human trafficking syndicate

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – The Immigration Department of Malaysia (JIM) has foiled a human trafficking syndicate involving Bangladeshis with the arrest of a Bangladeshi man, known as ‘Abang Bangla’, who is believed to be the mastermind, in a raid on a house at Section 28, Shah Alam, early yesterday.

JIM director general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said Abang Bangla, whose real name is Abdur Rauf, 43, was arrested together with a 49-year-old man, believed to be his assistant.

During the raid, he said, the Immigration team found 50 Bangladeshis, aged between 20 and 45, believed to be victims of the human-trafficking syndicate, at the premises.

“The syndicate is believed to have been operating over the past eight months and is involved in smuggling in of Bangladeshis who had committed offences and served their sentences in the country and then deported to their country of origin,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Mustafar said the victims had to pay between RM15,000 and RM20,000 to the syndicate , which arranged their flights from Dhaka to Indonesia before using the ‘tekong’ service to help them to sneak into Malaysia, either by sea or land.

“Once in the country, they will be placed at a house until they settle the payment, and only after they have full settled the payment will they be handed over to the agents or employers who need foreign workers,” he said.

He said the two suspects were being detained under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, while the others would be held under the Immigration Act 1959/63.