PUTRAJAYA: Two document forgery syndicates masterminded by Myanmar nationals and targeting ethnic Rohingya and Arakan Muslims, were crippled in an Immigration Department operation in the Jalan Lebuh Pudu area, Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Immigration director-general, Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud (pix) said the syndicates were believed to have been in operation for about two years and their activities were detected by the authorities following the landing of scores of Rohingya at Kuala Muda beach, Kedah in March 2019.
The syndicates were believed to have issued 14,000 fake documents a year, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card, Rohingya organisation card in Malaysia and Immigration i-Kad for between RM30 and RM150, depending on the type of document, he said.
“The investigation found that around 30 to 50 customers dealt with these syndicates each day,“ he told a press conference, here, today.
In yesterday’s operation, he said 15 Myanmar men and a Bangladeshi man were arrested, while a local man who rented his premises to the foreign nationals involved was issued a witness summons to assist in the investigation.
The inspection found letters of appeal, letters of protection and letters of medical assistance to UNHCR for Myanmar nationals, whereby the fake documents were aimed at avoiding detention by the authorities until they received an appointment letter from UNHCR to obtain a valid UNHCR document, he said.
According to Khairul Dzaimee, the syndicates were also found to provide services to falsify and amend the bio-page information of international passports of various countries, make Temporary Employment Visit Passes (PLKS) and other fake visit passes.
He said the fake documents ordered would be ready and handed to customers in the Klang Valley on the same day, while those for other customers were sent via courier after the payments were made.
“The syndicates accepted orders from all over Peninsular Malaysia and customers only needed to send personal details and photos through WhatsApp, Viber, imo and e-mail,“ he said, stressing that the Immigration Department would carry out a large-scale operation to detect the owners of fake UNHCR cards issued by the syndicates.
Among the items seized in the operation were various fake documents including 35 UNHCR cards, 13 i-Kad, six UNHCR letters, five Malaysian Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) cards as well as three computers, three laptops, six printers, four laminators and five pen drives.
“The Covid-19 examination certificate template for private clinics and other templates were also found in the seized pen drives and laptops,“ he said.
Khairul Dzaimee said all the foreign nationals detained would be placed at the Immigration Detention Depot in Lenggeng, Negri Sembilan and investigated under the Immigration Act 1959/63.
“The Immigration Department will also work with the Royal Malaysia Police to enable cases to be investigated under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Act 2007,” he added. — Bernama