Immigration Director-General Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali (center) welcomed some officers and members of the Immigration Department of Malaysia (JIM) during a working visit at the Tanah Merah Immigration Detention Depot. (pix by MOHAMED SAHIDI YUSOFF)

TANAH MERAH: The Immigration department is hot on the heels of syndicates that has been selling fake Enforcement Cards (E-Cards) that can fetch up to RM4,000 each.

More than 50 cases were detected since July this year and the department believe there are several syndicates, made up of locals and foreigners, behind the scam.

Its director general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the syndicates are believed to be active in several states especially areas where many employers and workers wee detained during the recent crackdown.

Speaking after attending a corruption-free pledge of some 200 Kelantan immigration officers here yesterday, Mustafar said among the states with higher arrests were Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor.

"This syndicates sell fake cards to both employers and foreign workers for between RM1,000 and RM4,000 each.

"Most of their clients are foreigners who have been staying in Malaysia for between five and nine years especially those from Bangladesh and Myanmar," he said.

He said so far, more than 8,000 foreign workers and 157 employers were detained by the department in the E-card operation.

The E-card crackdown which started on July 1, covers factories, construction, plantation, agriculture and the services sector.

The E-card is to provide illegal foreigners a temporary work pass to fill in vacancies in the allowed sectors.

Registered employers and the illegal workers have to obtain a passport from the relevant embassies before they could be legalised under the programme.

On another note, he said the online payment system which was implemented at all immigration offices nationwide including those the border, was expectee to fully operated before the end of the yea.

"Through this system, all type of payment to the department can be made online.

"This move among others will prevent direct payment to the officers or 'face-to face payment' which will also prevent any possibility of corruption," he said.

Also present at the function which was held at the Tanah Merah detention camp were Kelantan Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director Datuk Moh Shamsuddin Yusuf and state immigration director Wan Mohammad Saupee Wan Yusoff.

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