Rohingya refugee gets jail sentence increased for harbouring migrants

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 13 — A Rohingya UNHCR refugee, who has just completed his jail sentence, was ordered by the Court of Appeal today to serve another two years behind bars for harbouring smuggled migrants.

A three-man bench, comprising Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki, Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, increased the jail sentence from three years to five years against Mohd Hussein Mohd Kassim.

“The jail sentence imposed by the Alor Setar High Court was manifestly inadequate. The prosecution’s appeal (for an increase in the jail sentence) is allowed,” said Justice Mohtarudin who chaired the court panel.

He ordered Mohd Hussein, 30, to serve another two years jail from the date of his arrest on July 2, 2015.

In today’s proceeding, Justice Zakaria said that Mohd Hussein, as a refugee himself, should be thankful that Malaysia has given him refuge but instead he got involved in a syndicate.

After Mohd Hussein was released from prison on July 2 this year, he was placed at the Belantik immigration detention depot in Sik, Kedah.

He was sentenced to three years jail by the Alor Setar High Court after pleading guilty to the charge of harbouring 20 Bangladeshis and Myanmar migrants, aged between 18 to 54, who were smuggled into the country. 

Mohd Hussein committed the offence at Lot 84, Jalan Titi Haji Idris, Kampung Alor Sentap, Pokok Sena, Kedah at 4.44 am on July 2, 2015 in which the migrants were confined and found to be in feeble state.

On Sept 15, this year his compatriot, Muhammad Yunus also had his jail term increased from three years to five years by the Court of Appeal for a similar offence.

Deputy public prosecutor Anas Bashari appeared for the prosecution while counsel Rafidi Mohamad for Mohd Hussein. — Bernama

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