Last Updated on Jan. 10, 2017, 4:36 p.m.
The Immigration Department rescued 59 Bangladeshi victims of a human trafficking syndicate in a raid in two condominium premises in Desa Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, yesterday.
An Immigration enforcement team raided the condominium premises, where the victims were kept in crowded conditions, at about 4.30pm yesterday.
Immigration department director-general Mustafar Ali said a Bangladeshi man detained in the raid was suspected to be the 'tekong' (human trafficker). He 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, he said in statement today.
"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 to make any phone calls," he said.
Mustafar said the victims were also threatened with bodily harm 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 when they found a computer, printer and Bangladesh passports in a room at the premises.
According to him, the victims were promised jobs in Malaysia and were charged between RM18,000 and RM20,000 each to enter Malaysia through Indonesia.
The victims were flown from Bangladesh to Jakarta and were taken to a location near the beach before boarding a boat and being 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," he said.
Mustafar said according to victims, there were among them who had remained for two days to seven days at the transit home until some employer was willing to pay the syndicate to secure their services.
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