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FISHY...agent caught with 231 foreign passports.
Immigration authorities nabbed a woman in Kampung Pandan here on Thursday after she was found in possession of 231 passports belonging to foreign workers.
The 32-year-old woman, who co-owned a foreign workers’ registration agency, was also being investigated for hiring an Indonesian cleaner as an agent for the agency.
City Immigration Department assistant director (enforcement) James Musa Singa said they uncovered this case after nabbing a Bangladeshi man at Jalan Masjid India here on Wednesday.
The man was stopped for checks at the Ramadhan bazaar. He did not have any travel documents on him.
“The man said his documents were being held by an agent, an Indonesian man,” said James, adding that the man then contacted the agent.
When the agent arrived, the officers found out that he came here on a temporary work permit for a cleaner’s job.
The Immigration officers then checked the agent’s bag and found several Indonesian passports, Indonesian identification cards, documents and receipts for foreign workers’ registration and RM4,500 cash.
They also found another Indonesian passport in the man’s Yamaha Ego storage box. The motorcycle was then seized together with the documents and cash.
“The officers then raided the agency in Kampung Pandan which employed the Indonesian where they found 231 foreign passports. We also arrested a local woman who runs the company,” James said.
Checks found that the passports belonged to foreign workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Cambodia, and Myanmar.
James said initial investigations revealed that the agency was registered with the Home Ministry to manage the registration of illegal foreign workers in Malaysia, under the government’s 6P legalisation programme.
The legalisation programme ended on July 30 and the Immigration Department is now checking whether the agency was given permission to continue with the programme.
“We are also investigating the man for violating his working permit and the woman for hiring a foreign worker without a valid working pass. Both are also being probed for illegal possession of passports,” he said.
“We are also looking into the possibility that the agency was operating a human trafficking ring.”
Checks also revealed that the Indonesian agent helped register more than 300 foreign workers since 6P program was launched in August last year, and received about RM85 commission for each registration.
In another development, James said the department has nabbed 88 foreign workers who operated 158 stalls at the Ramadhan bazaar in Jalan Masjid India, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Chow Kit.
He said the operation was conducted together with City Hall following numerous complaints received over huge number of foreign workers dominating stalls at Ramadhan bazaars.