PUTRAJAYA, May 18 — The Immigration Department (JIM) detained 33 foreign nationals in an enforcement operation at an electronic waste (e-waste) processing factory in Klang, Selangor on May 16.

Its director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh in a statement today said the operation was carried out based on public complaints related to the factory which is believed to have been operating illegally and also employing foreigners with possible elements of human trafficking.

“The factory’s modus operadi was to process e-waste involving the process of dissolving and separating hazardous materials and valuable metals,” he said.

“Based on an invoice found, the e-waste received was only in a certain amount of capacity to ensure it can be processed within a week because the process can only be supervised by skilled Chinese nationals (workers),” he said.

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According to Ruslin, in order to conceal their activities, the Chinese nationals would be moved to other factories conducting the same activities before leaving the country.

Profit from this illegal activity is believed to around RM300,000 to RM500,000 after the goods have been recycled.

Based on information obtained form the detained foreign nationals and intelligence, the factory is registered to a Malaysian but managed by proxy by a Chinese citizen.

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“JIM will continue its efforts to trace the factory owner, based on the passport number obtained, including the owner of the land lot.

“The case is investigated under the Immigration Act, Passport Act including the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007 (Act 670),” said Ruslin.

The 33 foreigners arrested comprise 27 men from Myanmar, China (two men), Cambodia (two men) and one woman each from Cambodia and Myanmar.

It is said the detained foreigners, aged 19 to 40, have been working and living in the factory premises for the past four months and did not have travel documents when detained as it it believed these documents were being kept by their factory operator suspected to be a Chinese national. — Bernama