SEPANG, March 1 — Eight locals who impersonated immigration officers and blackmailed foreign nationals at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2 have been apprehended.
KLIA district police chief, ACP Zulkifli Adamsah, said the male suspects, aged between 25 and 57, were caught over two months this year after police reports were filed since last year.
He said their modus operandi was to ask to see the travel documents of the foreign tourist before allegedly extorting money.
“They mainly targeted tourists from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh on grounds their documents were often not in order.
“They spoke several languages and knew that anything to do with one’s passport would seem plausible to their target,” Zulkifli said at a joint press conference with Malaysia Airports operations general manager, Mohd Arif Jaafar, and KLIA Road Transport Department (JPJ) monitoring station chief, S. Sarawanan, in KLIA today.
He said the major concern is the suspects — who are standing trial for their crime and could be sentenced to two years’ jail — used violence and victims were harmed.
On efforts to tackle the problem of pirate taxis and touts, Zulkifli said that 18 suspects were arrested last year, with five facing trial.
Sarawanan said that in the past two months, 33 people were booked by JPJ for breaking the law and will be charged in court, while fines collected amounted to RM84,500.
Mohd Arif said the illegal activities marred the image of the airports and that collaboration with the authorities is being stepped up to put an end to these problems.
He advised airport travellers who have fallen victim to extortion to make a complaint at the Malaysia Airports information counter so that personnel can assist them in reporting it to the authorities. — Bernama