New Straits Times
E-CARD RING BUSTED
Syndicate takes 5 minutes to 2 hours to produce fake documents
IN just a matter of months after the Immigration Department declared the Enforcement Cards (E-Cards) tamper proof, a Bangladeshi known as “The Professor” was able to come up with a way to forge the cards, almost to the point of being as good as the original.
And all it took was a mere five minutes.
So nicknamed because he could forge documents well, “The Professor ” and his syndicate members raked in hundreds of thousands of ringgit, if not more, in the course of one year, not just from the sale of bogus E-Cards, but other immigration-related documents as well.
The master forger, well-known among his compatriots who made up the vast majority of his “clientele”, would take as little as five minutes to forge the E-Cards but a longer time for other, more complicated documents, such as passports. Even so, the foreigner would only take two hours, at the very most.
But the syndicate’s operations were busted two days ago when Immigration officers arrested the criminal mastermind and his right-hand man in their office in Ampang.
Yesterday, Immigration director-general Datuk Mustafar Ali demonstrated to reporters just how easy it was for the syndicate to forge the E-Cards.
He said “The Professor” was knowledgeable in computers and information technology, allowing him to come up with the forged documents, while the right-hand man, also from Bangladesh, helped in the printing and delivery of the forged documents.
“The equipment and materials confiscated by the department showed that they had only invested RM30,000 and gained hundreds
of thousands of ringgit in the past year.
“Our investigations revealed their activities could fetch a lucrative profit of between RM50,000 and RM70,000 a month, charging their ‘clients’ RM1,000 to RM4,000 per document,” he said.
Among other falsified documents were Visit Pass — Temporary Employment, passports, Identification Card (i-Card) for international students, social visit passes and Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) cards.
The department seized 229 stickers of various documents forged, including 23 false Malaysian Visa stickers, 196 CIDB cards, 15 E-Cards, six i-Cards, 13 Bangladeshi passports, four printers and two scanners.
A card printing machine worth RM8,000, a desktop computer, three laptop computers, 13 fake Bangladesh embassy seals, 28 sets of laminating film, 16 Bangladeshi passport covers, a paper cutter and cash amounting to RM11,480 were also found in their possession, said Mustafar.
He said while most of the clients were Bangladeshis, they also had people from Myanmar, India and Nepal seeking their services.
He added that the syndicate’s modus operandi was to use the Viber mobile application to deal with customers.
“The prospective customers only need to send them a copy of their passports and a picture to enable them to produce the needed documents.
“The completed documents will be handed over to the customers at a time and place that is decided by the suspects. Among the favourite places were Light Rail Transit stations around KL and Selangor,” he said.
Mustafar said the forged documents, at a glance, were as good as the original documents.
“But the forged documents do not have the biometric system and Quick Response Code which are unique in the original documents,” he added.
The department had been on the trail of the syndicate for two months, based on investigations by its intelligence team and information from the public.