Human smuggling syndicate in Malaysia busted, Bangladeshis rescued

A team raided the premises where the victims were kept in crowded conditions at about 4.30pm.

Director-general Mustafar Ali said a Bangladeshi man detained in the raid was believed to have a role in managing the arrival of foreign workers and supplying them to employers.

Also arrested were two men and a woman of Bangladeshi origin who served as assistants and controlled the transit home from where the victims were sent to agents or employers.

"The victims stayed in the transit home in crowded conditions. Their mobile phones, passports and money were confiscated by the syndicate and they were not allowed out of the house or make phone calls," Mustafar said in a statement.

Mustafar said the victims were also threatened if they did not follow instructions or tried to leave the transit home.

He said the syndicate was believed to be involved in the printing of fake immigration security stickers after a computer, printer and Bangladesh passports were found in a room at the premises.

The victims were promised jobs in Malaysia and were charged between 18,000 (US$4,020) and 20,000 ringgit (US$4,466) each to enter Malaysia through Indonesia.

They were flown from Bangladesh to Jakarta and taken to a location near the beach before boarding a boat and smuggled into Malaysia.

"While in Indonesia, the victims were placed in a transit house and guarded by the syndicate.

"Victims were also not allowed out of the house and everything including supplying of food and drinks was managed by the syndicate," Mustafar said.

He said the victims had remained for two to seven days at the transit home until some employer was willing to pay the syndicate to secure their services.

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