KOTA BHARU: Two suspected human trafficking agents (tekong darat) along with six illegal immigrants were detained by a team from the Ninth Battalion General Operations Force (GOF9) Strike Force in Kampung Tok Bilal near Machang, early yesterday morning.
GOF9 Commanding Officer Supt Nor Azizan Yusof said the group’s movement was detected at 6 am when members of the GOF9 Strike Force Company A conducted a Covid-19 ‘Ops Benteng’ patrol in the Bukit Tandak area near Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas.
According to him, GOF9 personnel had spotted a Mitsubitshi Pajero four-wheel drive heading towards Tanah Merah in a suspicious manner and followed the vehicle for about 20 kilometres (km) before directing the driver to stop for inspection, but the driver sped off before stopping the vehicle on the shoulder of the road in Kampung Tok Bilal, Machang.
However, he said Strike Force members managed to arrest the suspects after a scuffle and further inspection found four female passengers and two Myanmar men, aged between 20 and 30 in the vehicle, all of whom did not have any identification documents.
They were taken to the Machang district police headquarters for further action and the two ‘tekong’, in their 30s, tested positive for methamphetamine after a urine drug screening.
“The case is being investigated under Section 26 (J) of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007, Section 6 (1) (C) of the Immigration Act1959/63 and Section 15 (1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act (ADB) 1952,“ he said. -Bernama