KOTA BARU, June 3 — The Immigration Department toppled a human trafficking syndicate and arrested six Rohingyas during a special operation here on Saturday.

Director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh stated that the men, aged between 24 and 35, were detained by a Special Tactical Team from the Intelligence and Special Operations Division of the Putrajaya Immigration Headquarters, in collaboration with the Kelantan Immigration Department.

He said the team was mobilised based on public complaints and intelligence gathered over three weeks, when they encountered a Proton Wira car driven by a suspect.

“The suspect sped off when he realised the presence of the operations team but was intercepted and arrested at the Kota Baru express bus terminal.

“This resulted in the arrest of two Rohingya men suspected of being the transporter and ‘assistant’ along with two other ethnic men being taken to Kuala Lumpur,” he said in a statement today.

Following interrogation, the operations team raided several houses around Kota Baru where another two Rohingya men, believed to be bound for Kuala Lumpur, were detained.

He added that four of the men possessed United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) cards while the other two did not possess any valid travel document or passport.

“The syndicate’s modus operandi involves smuggling ethnic immigrants into the country through illegal routes at the Thai border. They hide the immigrants in transit houses before transporting them to Kuala Lumpur by express buses, accompanied by a fellow ethnic man from the capital.

“Newly arrived migrants are given fake UNHCR documents to mislead the authorities and are charged RM500 each for transport to Kuala Lumpur and RM100 for transport around Kota Bharu,” he said.

The team also confiscated two fake UNHCR cards, RM2,000 in cash, and a Proton Wira vehicle believed to have been used for transporting the migrants.

Ruslin said three of the Rohingya men are being investigated under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, while the other three are being investigated under Section 6(3) of the Immigration Act 1959/63. — Bernama