SEPANG: The Immigration Department has foiled a syndicate which allegedly brought in illegal foreign workers from Bangladesh.

Two Bangladeshis believed to be the mastermind of the syndicate were arrested by the department’s operations, investigation and prosecution division during a raid at a three-storey business premises at Pandan Indah here yesterday.

Its director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said 258 Bangladesh passports and two Indonesian passports were seized during the raid.

"The officers also found a receipt book, 26 E-kad (Enforcement Card), 11 fake rubber stamps of embassies, a computer and cash RM1,600.

"Initial investigation showed that the computer was used to apply for permits for foreign workers as well as to falsify the approvals,” said Mustafar at a press conference after launching the Not To Land (NTL) lounge at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport today.

Mustafar said the modus operandi was to offer new and renewal of the Temporary Employment Visit Pass (PLKS) for employers at a certain price.

"The cost is RM1,000 and above for each service and the syndicate is also believed to make arrangements for documents related to replacement of illegal workers in Malaysia.

"The syndicate had also handled the entries of Bangladeshis illegally by obtaining the PLKS for them by using the fake rubber stamps of embassies,” he said.

Both the arrested Bangladeshis have been conducting the illegal activity for quite some time since one of them has been in Malaysia since 2008, he said.

Mustafar said the next course of action would be identifying the owners of the passports as well as the E-kad and also the employers of these illegal workers.

He also reminded employers to deal directly with the Immigration Department in any matter related to foreign workers.

Meanwhile, the launch of the NTL Lounge was another way for the department not to compromise the sovereignty and safety of the nation.

Mustafar said the coalition by Mono Circle Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Airports Holdings Bhd, Airlines Operator Committee KLIA (AOC) and the Department showed that not only the nation’s safety was protected but the welfare of travelers with a NTL status was taken care.

The lounge which can accommodate 150 to 200 people at one time is complete with toilet, locker, and canteen facilities.

He hoped that the facility of the NTL Lounge would also be done in klia2 and at other airports nationwide.

Also present during the launch were MAHB managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, Mono Circle operations director Tengku Shah Marudin and AOC chairman Mokhtar Othman.

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Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali (centre) shows the documents and passports seized following a raid at a three-storey business premises in Pandan Indah. Pic by MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

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