Syrian with false Malta passport fined

SANDAKAN - A Syrian man, who used a false Malta passport to leave Sandakan on a ferry to Zamboanga City in southern Philippines was fined RM8,000 (S$3129.92) or eight months jail by a Sessions Court here.

Khaled Abdul Rahman Mohamad, 32, pleaded guilty Monday to the offence under Section 12(1) (a) of the Passport Act 1966 (Act 150) before Sessions Court Judge Egusra Ali.

According to the facts of the case, Khaled had entered Malaysia via Kuala Lumpur International Airport using a Syrian Passport on June 6, this year.

Khaled was detained at the Immigration Control Post at the Sandakan seaport trying to board the passenger ferry to Zamboanga City with a Malta passport on June 17.

Further investigation conducted by the Immigration Department showed the accused is a Syrian national and had paid certain sum of money to obtain the fake Malta passport, deputy public prosecutor Mohd Fillany Siji told the court.

Malaysia security has been on high alert in Sandakan following suspected movement of militants to southern Philippines via Sandakan to undergo training with the Al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf group.

On June 14 this year, Bukit Aman counter terrorism arrested a Royal Malaysian Navy officer among three men arrested in Sandakan for being part of a militant group planning to undertake suicide bombings and attack missions in Syria and Iraq.

They were linked to rebel groups called the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) in the Middle East and Abu Sayyaf.