Child trafficking ring exposed

PETALING JAYA: A human trafficking ring was exposed after an eagle-eyed Immigration Department officer noticed discrepancies during an appointment for a new passport.

In custody: The female suspect leaving the Kuala Lumpur courthouse after being charged with trafficking children. She and another suspect will be held at the Kajang prison until May 11.© Provided by The Star Online

Immigration director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said the modus operandi of a group that trafficked Sri Lankan children to Europe was uncovered following the arrest of a local husband and wife, aged 37 and 26, respectively, on April 12 in Kuala Lumpur.

“The syndicate would convince parents to bring the birth certificates of their children aged 12 to the Immigration Department office in the guise of making a passport.

“However, the child brought to the counter would instead be one of a similar age from Sri Lanka and that child will be sent to get their photo taken and fingerprints recorded,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said the suspects, who led the syndicate, were also the “transporters” who would take the Sri Lankan children who have successfully obtained their passports to Europe.

“Investigations are underway to trace and determine how many children have been involved and how long the syndicate had been in operation.

“Based on preliminary investigations, the syndicate was paid between €30,000 and €50,000 (RM145,906 to RM243,177) for each child who got a passport and escorted to Europe,” Ruslin said.

The couple was busted after going to the Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department branch when they were attempting to get a passport.

They were stopped after discrepancies were found during the application process and an officer proceeded to interview the child.

The child failed to communicate in Bahasa Malaysia and had distinct facial differences from the suspects.

The suspects were brought to the Kuala Lumpur courthouse yesterday and would be held at the Kajang prison until May 11 for their case to be mentioned.

Source: The Star
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