PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department detained a Bangladeshi man known as ‘Abang Bangla’ in Alam Megah, Shah Alam on Friday for running a syndicate smuggling blacklisted foreigners into the country.

Its director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the 43-year-old man was detained in an operation at 2am.

A 49-year-old Malaysian man was also arrested for abetting the syndicate.

In the meantime, he said 50 other Bangladeshis, aged between 20 and 45, were arrested in another raid in Shah Alam.

"Our preliminary investigation showed that Abang Bangla, whose real name is Abdur Rauf, has been smuggling people into Malaysia for the past eight months.

“Some of them have been blacklisted as they had previously committed immigration offences in the country, which include working illegally or possessing expired permits.

"Some have also served their sentences. Since they have been blacklisted, they could no longer enter Malaysia legally," Mustafar said.

He said the modus operandi of the syndicate was to buy flight tickets for these foreigners from Dhaka to Jakarta. From Jakarta, they would take a boat to enter Malaysia illegally.

Mustafar said the foreigners would use illegal route and the drop-off point was at Sekinchan, Selangor.

"They also had to pay between RM15,000 and RM20,000 to the syndicate to enter Malaysia. They will be placed at a temporary house in Sekinchan until they settle their payment. After they have paid the full amount, they will be handed over to agents or employers," he added.

During the operation, the department also seized RM13,400 in cash, 48 passports and a taxi for further investigations.

The case is being investigated under Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007; and Immigration Act 1959/63.

In another case, Mustafar said the department had also raided a warehouse in Subang Jaya on Thursday, where they arrested 183 foreigners, including two women, for working permit violations.

They are from Bangladesh, Indian and Pakistan.

"We are still trying to identify the owner of the warehouse and the companies that brought in these foreigners." he added.

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(File pix) The Immigration Department detained a Bangladeshi man known as ‘Abang Bangla’ in Alam Megah, Shah Alam on Friday for running a syndicate smuggling blacklisted foreigners into the country. Pix by Muhammad Zuhairi Zuber