Syndicate issuing fake social passes busted

JOHOR BARU - Johor Immigration officers yesterday crippled a syndicate producing fake social visit passes for foreigners seeking employment in the country.

The syndicate is believed to have used imported ink from India. Each pass was sold at RM8,400.

A man from India, in his 30s, was detained when an enforcement team raided a double-storey shophouse in Taman Sri Puteri, Skudai, at 4am yesterday.

The suspect was caught red-handed printing the social visit passes. He attempted but failed to delete data as officers stormed into the premises.

State Immigration department enforcement deputy chief Masri Abdul said the shophouse was also used as a transit point for foreigners waiting for their social visit passes.

He said the suspect was believed to be preparing passes for a group of 43 Indians, in their 20s to 40s, who had just entered the country.

"The quality of the fake passes was good."

A total of 80 passports issued in India and one in Nepal were seized along with a printer, printed material and the passes. The passports, however, were genuine.

Also seized were record books and a list of factories, which had ordered the passes.

Masri said the syndicate was believed to have been operating for the past two years, and was sought-after by agents who provided foreign workers to employers.

The syndicate was believed to have handled the processing work: getting the foreign workers registered to bringing them in from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to here using public transport as bus tickets were also found in the premises.

"A total of 33 individuals were detained at the premises while another 11 were found hiding in a vehicle parked near the premises."