New Straits Times


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.

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HAMZAH ?? Immigratio­n director-general Datuk Mustafar Ali showing a fake Ecard at a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.
PIC BY MOHD FADLI HAMZAH Immigratio­n director-general Datuk Mustafar Ali showing a fake Ecard at a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.

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