MACC cripples syndicate illegally obtaining foreign worker permits

FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR


PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested nine members of a syndicate which illegally obtained work permit renewals for foreign workers, and acted as their agents.

The racket was detected and foiled by the MACC and MyEG Services Berhad (MyEG) after anomalies were observed in their online workers’ permit renewal activities.

The arrests were made in simultaneous operations at 11am today in Selangor, Perak, Penang and Johor. Three suspects were detained in Selangor, two in Penang, three in Johor and one in Perak.

An MACC source said the syndicate’s modus operandi was to offer bribes to Immigration officers to collect renewed work permits – which had been applied for and approved online – without the presence of the workers’ employers. Under the law, only employers are allowed to collect renewed work permits.

"The syndicate’s agents are believed to have offered bribes of between RM50 and RM700 for every application, to facilitate the process without having to comply with the stipulated procedures.

"The suspects, aged between 33 and 50, are being investigated under Section 16 (b) (A) of MACC Act 2009," the source said.

MACC Investigation Director Datuk Simi Abdul Ghani confirmed the arrest and said the suspects will be remanded to facilitate investigations.

"The MACC views this matter seriously, as such acts can cause untoward incidents which may affect national security," he said.