Crime & Courts

Foreign couple operating fake work permit renewal operation from flats nabbed

PASIR GUDANG: Johor Immigration Department yesterday (Nov 8) apprehended a foreign couple for allegedly operating a fraudulent work permit renewal operation from their low-cost flats unit here.

Department director Baharudin Tahir said a team acting on public tip-off conducted an operation codenamed Op Serkap to raid the flats here at 1.15am.

They conducted checks on four suspects, all foreigners, who led the raiding team to the unit inhabited by the 44-year-old Bangladeshi and his 37-year-old Indonesian wife.

They found 13 Bangladeshi and Indian passports hidden in a cupboard in the unit and RM RM34,983.

Baharudin said based on intelligence-gathered, it is believed the couple's targeted 'clientele' were foreign nationals.

However, most of them were Bangladeshi, who had problems extending their work permits and those who had difficulties registering for the Illegal Immigrant Recalibration Programme 2.0, which is due to expire end of this year.

The couple charged between RM2,500 and RM3,000 for each application.

Baharudin said investigations are ongoing to verify the confiscated documents' authenticity, although initial checks showed they were all likely forged.

The Indonesian woman was detained under Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Act 155) for failing to produce valid travel documents, while her husband is being probed under Section 55E of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Act 155) and Section 12(1)(f) of the Passport Act 1966 (Act 150) for unauthorised possession of passports, which did not belong to him.

Baharudin also urged foreigners to directly with immigration offices, instead of and engaging middlemen or unauthorised agents, to avoid falling victims to fraudsters.

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