KUALA LUMPUR: Police have crippled a syndicate using Malaysia as a transit nation to smuggle Sri Lankan immigrants to Europe with the arrest of 11 individuals.
Those arrested in the police operations at the Customs and Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in Padang Besar, Perlis, around Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur on May 27, comprised three locals and eight Sri Lankan citizens.
Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador said the syndicate with an international network across Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Europe had been operating since the middle of last year.
The culprits were attempting to smuggle out a Sri Lankan boy using Malaysian travel documents via the Padang Besar, Perlis border to Thailand and then to Europe.
The Malaysian suspects included a facilitator and two escorts, he said in a statement yesterday.
He said investigations revealed that the syndicate also harboured Sri Lanka immigrants around Kuala Lumpur for the purpose of smuggling them out to third countries.
The three Malaysians were being investigated under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), while the eight Sri Lankans were detained under the Immigration Act 1959/63, said Abdul Hamid.