SYN­DI­CATES BE­HIND FAKE E-CARDS

More than 50 cases de­tected since last month

New Straits Times - - News / Nation - SHARIFAH MAHSINAH AB­DUL­LAH TANAH MERAH news@nst.com.my

THE Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment is hot on the heels of syn­di­cates sell­ing fake En­force­ment Cards (E-Cards) that can fetch up to RM4,000 each. More than 50 cases were de­tected since last month. The depart­ment be­lieves there are sev­eral syn­di­cates, made up of lo­cals and for­eign­ers, be­hind the trade.

Its di­rec­tor-gen­eral, Datuk Seri Musta­far Ali, said the syn­di­cates were be­lieved to be ac­tive in sev­eral states, es­pe­cially in ar­eas where many em­ploy­ers and work­ers were de­tained dur­ing a re­cent crack­down.

Speak­ing af­ter at­tend­ing a cor­rup­tion-free pledge by 200 Ke­lan­tan Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers at the Tanah Merah de­ten­tion camp here yes­ter­day, Musta­far said the states with higher ar­rests in­cluded Kuala Lumpur, Pe­nang and Jo­hor.

“These syn­di­cates sell fake cards to em­ploy­ers and for­eign work­ers for be­tween RM1,000 and RM4,000 each.

“Most of their clients are for­eign­ers who have been in Malaysia for be­tween five and nine years, es­pe­cially those from Bangladesh and Myan­mar.”

He said more than 8,000 for­eign work­ers and 157 em­ploy­ers were held by the depart­ment in the crack­down.

The op­er­a­tion, which started on July 1, cov­ers fac­to­ries, plan­ta­tion, and the con­struc­tion, agri­cul­ture and ser­vices sec­tor.

The E-Card pro­vides il­le­gal for­eign­ers a tem­po­rary work pass in the al­lowed sec­tors.

Reg­is­tered em­ploy­ers and il­le­gal work­ers have to ob­tain a pass­port from em­bassies be­fore they could be le­galised un­der the pro­gramme.

On an­other mat­ter, he said the on­line pay­ment sys­tem im­ple­mented at Im­mi­gra­tion of­fices was ex­pected to be op­er­a­tional by year end.

“Through this sys­tem, pay­ment to the depart­ment can be made on­line.

“This move will pre­vent di­rect pay­ment to of­fi­cers, or face-to face pay­ment, which elim­i­nates the pos­si­bil­ity of cor­rup­tion,” he said.

Present were Ke­lan­tan Malaysian An­tiCor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion di­rec­tor Datuk Moh Sham­sud­din Yusuf and state Im­mi­gra­tion di­rec­tor Wan Mo­ham­mad Sau­pee Wan Yu­soff.

Datuk Seri Musta­far Ali

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