5:09 pm - Wednesday April 25, 2018

4 immigration officers, 3 others held over smuggling of Bangladeshis through KLIA

ZAHID

MO,15/12/2017, PUTRAJAYA: Four immigration officers and three individuals have been detained to assist investigations into the smuggling of Bangladeshis through Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the three individuals comprised one local and two foreigners.

“The trio include a husband and wife, where the husband is a foreigner and the wife is a local. “The Immigration Department yesterday arrested another suspect, who is a foreigner. We believe they are from a syndicate that masterminded the smuggling of Bangladeshis into the country. “The arrest was done in collaboration with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police,” he told reporters after chairing the cabinet meeting on foreign workers and illegal foreigners today.

The four officers were detained for allegedly helping Bangladeshis to enter the country illegally through KLIA. Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said 40 per cent of about 1,500 officers in KLIA would be rotated to address the issues and prevent them from being involved in graft. “We will transfer some immigration officers from KLIA to other offices and replace them with others.

“We need to take immediate action to clear the image of the department, which has been marred by some bad apples,” he said. He has also instructed Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali to continue monitoring the situation and take proactive measures to prevent such incidents. On Dec 7, Harian Metro revealed that illegal workers from Bangladesh were being smuggled into the country through KLIA on a daily basis, and it was masterminded by four big syndicates in Dhaka.

It is believed that the syndicates earn RM5.2 million a year by charging between RM15,000 and RM20,000 per person, and bribing the authorities such as officers from the Immigration Department and the Malaysian Embassy in Dhaka.

Mustafar had said the officers would face stern action, including being suspended or sacked, if they were found guilty.

Filed in: Nasional, Topik Pilihan

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