RM18mil bribes collected by immigration ring

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PETALING JAYA: Police are reported to have uncovered an immigration ring that collected RM18 million in bribes to allow as many as 16,000 foreigners into Malaysia over two years.

A report in Mingguan Malaysia said immigration officers collected between RM200 and RM2,500 for each job.

Police have arrested 37 immigration officers involved this year, and 37 others arrested on suspicion of being agents and syndicate members, the report said.

The foreigners who used the syndicate were from Bangladesh, India, Vietnam and China, and had used airports in Kuala Lumpur, Sibu and Bintulu to enter the country.

The report quoted an anonymous police source as saying that the ring had altered the data in the immigration computer system to allow those on a blacklist to enter.

Four immigration officers were still under arrest for initial investigation, four others had been charged under anti-human trafficking laws, and 18 placed under preventive detention or placed under restraining orders. Twelve more were released on bonds while awaiting a decision by the Criminal Prevention Board.