KLIA police bust Pakistani-led syndicate selling forged Covid screening slips

The syndicate’s activities were exposed when two Pakistani men were arrested on January 20 after providing dubious Covid-19 screening test documentation at the registration counter for flights to Pakistan, which led to the arrest of other individuals, including the syndicate’s mastermind. — iStock.com pic via AFP

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SEPANG, Jan 27 — A Pakistani-led syndicate known as “Habib Gang” which sold forged covid-19 screening test slips has been busted.

The syndicate’s activities were exposed when two Pakistani men were arrested on January 20 after providing dubious Covid-19 screening test documentation at the registration counter for flights to Pakistan, which led to the arrest of other individuals, including the syndicate’s mastermind.

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KLIA police chief ACP Imran Abd Rahman said the syndicate involving only Pakistani nationals is believed to have served about 50 customers since it started operating in August last year.

He said the foreigners were willing to fork out RM300 to obtain a screening test slip with negative result just to be able to fly home.

“You would only have to pay RM190 at a private clinic but they took the easy way out because they were afraid they would not be able to fly home if the results were positive,” he said at a media conference here today.

Following the arrest of the two Pakistani men, aged 28 and 37, at KLIA on January 20, the police arrested another Pakistani man in Taman Tampoi Indah, Johor Bahru. This led to the arrest of the 27-year-old mastermind in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur on January 25.

According to Imran, two more Pakistani men were detained at KLIA on January 23 while checking in at the flight counter with suspicious-looking Covid-19 screening slips.

“We would like to stress that investigations thus far have not revealed any involvement of private or government clinics,” he said.

He noted that the labs and hospitals that fell “victim” to the syndicate were Lab Link, BP Lab and KPJ Hospital.

“Checks found that the labs and hospitals do exist but there are no records of the screening test slips being issued (by them),” he said.

He said among the items seized following the arrests of the Pakistani nationals were RM13,500 in cash, 12 forged screening test slips, two printers, a laptop and three gold necklaces.

The case is being investigated under Sections 465 and 471 of the Penal Code for forgery, he added.

Imran said that anyone with information about attempts to forge screening test slips should report to the police as such practices would endanger other passengers and frontliners. — Bernama

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