By John Isaac
ONE of the 34 immigration officers nabbed for their involvement in an immigration syndicate has an existing criminal record for hijacking and car theft, a source in the know has revealed.
According to the source, the low-ranking officer holding a KP19 grade owns four luxury cars which have since been confiscated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the ongoing sting operation against the syndicate.
These cars comprise a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Mustang, an Audi and a Range Rover, all of which were kept on his behalf by a foreign worker agent.
“Based on police records, the immigration officer was found to have a criminal record for hijacking and car theft. The officer is also part of the hijacking and car theft syndicate led by the foreign worker agent,” the source told Free Malaysia Today.
The officer is also believed to be involved in a secret society.
“How could a person with a criminal record be employed in the civil service?” the source asked.
Meanwhile, the source said the foreign worker agent is wanted by police over hijacking and car theft cases, as well as criminal conspiracy in relation to a prostitution syndicate involving Chinese nationals.
In total, 12 foreign worker agents have been arrested in the operation called Ops Selat, and all are members of an international human trafficking syndicate.
Another 10 civilians have been arrested for allowing their bank accounts to be used to stash bribes collected by the immigration officers.
More than RM800,000 in cash, 26 luxury cars and four high-powered motorcycles have been confiscated.
When contacted, MACC investigations director Norazlan Mohd Razali confirmed that 56 people have been arrested so far.
“We will take stringent action against these agents. MACC will work with the Immigration Department and police on further investigations based on various laws,” he said.
It was previously reported that the syndicate catered to employers of foreign workers who wanted them to remain here or return to their home country.
The syndicate had two methods of operation – the first being a “flying passport” for those who came to Malaysia using social visas but were working here illegally.
The agents of the workers would collect their passports and pay the immigration officers to stamp their passports to indicate that they had left the country before the expiry of the 90-day stay allowed under their social visa, and re-entered legally.
Its other modus operandi was “setting counters” for migrants who have been blacklisted for immigration offences.
The migrants would go to these particular counters at airports and pay up to RM6,000 to be allowed to leave the country even though they had been blacklisted from travelling.