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Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali (3rd right) said the team stumbled upon several dubious PLKS documents and passports, hidden among a stack of 94 Bangladesh passports, which led the authority to the syndicate's activity. Pic by STR/SHAHNAZ FAZLIE SHAHRIZAL

GEORGE TOWN: For as low as RM1,500, employers can get agents' help to provide them with falsified Visit Pass-Temporary Employment (PLKS) or fake passports for their foreign workers.

This was discovered during a raid by the Immigration Department at an apartment in Jelutong here last night. The apartment is believed to be used as the syndicate’s operation centre.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the team stumbled upon several dubious PLKS documents and passports, hidden among a stack of 94 Bangladesh passports, which led the authority to the syndicate's activity.

He said nine people, including the syndicate's mastermind, a Bangladeshi, and his Indonesian wife, were detained over their alleged involvement in the falsified PLKS and fake passport syndicate. Also detained were two children.

Also seized during the raid was RM15,000 cash.

"We are still going through more of the documents and passports seized to check on their authenticity.

"However, we have found among them several falsified PLKS and fake passports. Our checks also showed some of the employers were willing to pay several thousand ringgit to get the documents.

"The syndicate was trying to trick the authority by hiding the flasified and fake documents and passports among the genuine ones," he told a press conference after leading the Penang Immigration Department to take the corruption-free pledge here this evening.

Mustafar said investigation was underway and did not discount the possibility that there may be more arrest.

"The syndicate has been active for a long time and that further investigation will determine if more people were involved.

“We will not compromise on this matter and will ensure that stern action is taken against all those involved,” he added.

Mustafar also said that they would investigate the employers who engaged the services of the agents/middlemen as they had been reminded repeatedly to refrain from doing so.

"We have made the online application process as easy as possible. As such, we don't understand why the employers are still going to unauthorised agents." he noted.

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