PETALING JAYA - No Ugandan girls were lured to work as sex slaves in Malaysia in recent times, said the Immigration Department.
"We were not part of any operation to rescue any girls from Uganda who were supposedly exploited by a sex trade syndicate recently.
"The Uganda High Commission also did not inform us of any girl being rescued," Immigration enforcement director Zahari Abd Aziz said.
He was commenting on news reports that three Ugandan girls were rescued after being lured to work as sex slaves in Malaysia.
Zahari explained that cases of Ugandan girls being exploited and duped into the sex trade were rampant in 2011 and 2012.
"At that time, we carried out a special operation codenamed Ops Gagak to rescue and detain those in the sex trade involving foreigners.
"We arrested about 50 Ugandan girls as some of them had violated their social visitor passes while others had overstayed.
"Subsequently, we discovered that they were duped into the sex industry by a Nigerian syndicate," he said.
Zahari said the girls were promised lucrative jobs in Malaysia, only to be trapped into working as prostitutes.
"They were brought to Malaysia specifically to cater to Nigerian men, who prefer girls from their own region.
"Some of the girls entered Malaysia on student visas while others used social visitor passes," he said.
Zahari confirmed that incidents of Ugandan girls being used as sex slaves in Malaysia was a thing of the past.
"Between mid-2014 and April 17, there were no cases of Ugandan girls being used as sex slaves.
"At present, we have eight Ugandan girls in our depots. They were detained for immigration offences," he said.