Immigration nabs fake document syndicate mastermind

PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department has crippled a fake document syndicate that is believed to have raked up to RM3 million, following the arrest of its mastermind.

Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the main suspect, a 58-year-old Indonesian, who runs the syndicate known as Wak Jam, was arrested on Monday night in an operation by the department's special intelligence unit following a month-long surveillance.

The syndicate, which operates its service in a house in Kampung Lindungan in Petaling Jaya, produces fake passports and immigration security stamps, with mostly Indonesian customers.

Among the items seized during the operation were 22 Malaysia entry stamps, nine exit stamps, two special pass stamps, two Singapore entry and exit stamps each, 14 Indonesia entry stamps and 21 exit stamps, and six Indonesian embassy stamps, all of which are fake.

"We also seized 11 Indonesian passports, 38 torn biodata pages of Indonesian passports, two mobile phones, and a number of equipments that were used to produce the fake documents, among others.

"We also found that the suspect has been involved in this syndicate between three to five years, and earned about RM50,000 per month," he told a press conference, here, today.

Mustafar said the suspect charged RM50 for each stamps given and between RM100 and RM200 to alter a passport, and that the fake documents produced were almost identical — up to 95% — to the original copies.

He added that most of the customers were Indonesians from the construction and farming industry who have overstayed in Malaysia.

The suspect was arrested under Section 55D and 56(1A)(c) of the Immigration Act as well as Section 12(1)(a) of the Passport Act, Mustafar said.

Meanwhile, Mustafar said the immigration has taken action against 1,685 illegal foreign workers and 30 employers from July 1 to 9.

A total of 22,336 illegal foreign workers and 588 employers have also been arrested since the start of the year.