PUTRAJAYA, June 7 — The Immigration Department of Malaysia busted a syndicate ‘Geng Broga’ believed to be involved in illegally trafficking in Indonesians, during an operation in Sungai Besar and Sabak Bernam, Selangor, yesterday.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh in a statement today said a team of enforcement officers from the Immigration headquarters in Putrajaya, found 12 Indonesians during the operation that started at 8.05pm.

Based on information from members of the public and surveillance carried out by the department, a team was set up to carry out the operation and the team chanced upon three suspicious looking vehicles — a Perodua Alza, a Perodua Bezza and a Proton Waja — driven by three suspicious looking suspects.

“All three drivers of the vehicles tried to speed off from the location but the team managed to block their attempt and detain the three suspects.

“Initial investigations revealed that one of the drivers was the ‘mastermind’ aged 47, while two others were ‘transporters’ aged 31 and 40,” he said adding that two men, a woman and a child, all Indonesians, were also detained.

Following information obtained from initial investigations and interrogation, officers were placed at an identified mangrove area in Sabak Bernam and the team managed to detain eight Indonesians who had just arrived from Indonesia by sea.

He said the total number of people detained was 15, aged between 5 and 52.

Ruslin said five Indonesian passports, RM6,200 cash and the three vehicles were seized.

He said the modus operandi of the syndicate was to use the sea route to smuggle in Indonesians from Tanjung Balai in Indonesia to Sungai Besar, Selangor using fishing vessels and later transfer them to smaller boats before bringing them to the shores.

“The ‘Mastermind’ of the syndicate makes all the arrangements and the charges range from RM1,500 to RM2,500 according to gender. The syndicate is believed to have been operating for a year now,” he said. — Bernama