Peculiar passport application leads to discovery of identification documentation scam
PUTRAJAYA, Sept 12 — The actions of a Chinese-looking applicant who merely smiled each time she was posed with a question in the Malay language by an immigration officer when making an application for a Malaysian passport, is what tipped off the officer that all was not right.
This was despite the fact that the woman had presented a MyKad to the officer concerned in this case, the first of its kind to occur this year at the Immigration Department in Penang, leading to the discovery of a syndicate involved in the illegal production of birth certificates and identity cards, said Immigration Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud.
Speaking to Bernama at his office here, Khairul Dzaimee said the immigration officer concerned had proceeded to lodge a police report on the matter, following which, police had unearthed a syndicate involved in the production, procurement, sale and possession of fraudulent personal identification documentation for the purposes of securing travel documentation that enabled foreign individuals to enter and exit the country.
Yesterday, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Huzir Mohamed announced that police had arrested 20 individuals on Aug 19 including a National Registration Department (JPN) officer, suspected of involvement in such activities.
The arrested individuals comprised 17 Malaysians, comprising 15 men and two women, as well as two Chinese nationals comprising a man and a woman, and an Indian male national.
Today, an assistant director at the Penang JPN and five individuals were charged in the George Town Sessions Court with 32 offences in connection with the matter.