KUALA LUMPUR: Genuine Malaysian identity documents were sold up to RM60,000 in Sabah to foreigners who would use it to travel and secure employment in Peninsular Malaysia.
This was unravelled by the National Registration Department following the arrest of two people, a man and woman, both 52, who actively sold the documents to Filipinos, Indonesians and Pakistanis in the east coast of Sabah.
The two, believed to be the masterminds behind the syndicate, were arrested in a week-long operation that was planned after a two month surveillance and investigations by the department.
Its director general Datuk Mohammad Razin Abdullah said the latest arrest was of a woman at her home at an industrial area here at about 2am.
This follows the arrest of a man, who was eventually jailed 12 months for possession of another person’s identity document, in Tawau on Jan 26.
The two have been actvitely supplying Malaysian identity documents, fake and real ones, to foreigners in the east coast of Sabah, Razin said.
Fake ones were sold between RM3,000 to RM6,000 while the genuine documents were sold between RM20,000 to RM60,000.
“They were targetting foreigners who had just arrived the state who would use such documents to secure employment in the peninsula,” he said.
The NRD team recovered a variety of items such as birth certicates, identity documents, printer, laptop as well as four bank account books which indicated payments of between RM30,000 and RM60,000 which appears to be from the sales of the documents, Razin added.
“We are now investigating to determine how many documents have been sold and the earnings made by the syndicate. This will take time.
“This is the result of a comprehensive two month surveillance and investigations to ensure this syndicate is crippled right to the core.”
He said this in a press conference which was also attended by the NRD Investigations and Enforcement Division director Mohamad Yusri Hashim and State NRD director Datuk Ismail Ahmad.
Razin said investigations by the department also revealed the syndicate may have been involved in producing other fake documents such as death and marriage certificates.
Apart from the arrest of the two masterminds, 11 other people were also detained in a week-long swoop help in Sandakan, Tawau, Kunak and Lahad Datu. They had either used documents that belonged to others or applied for documents using false information.
“The department will continue such operations to curb such cases because this can be deemed as a threat to national security,” he stressed.