The authorities have done a good job of late, busting a Chinese scam syndicate operating across Malaysia and detaining over a hundred suspects.
The incident has sparked speculation among Malaysians why there are so many foreign scam syndicates active in this country, for how long they have been operating here, and whether their activities have been facilitated by a handful of black sheep in the enforcement authorities.
Home minister Muhyiddin Yassin said last Wednesday that the Chinese scam syndicate had used Malaysia as a base to conduct their illegal online betting activities. The revelation has raised the alarm of the government. The government must deal with such syndicates seriously in case they have moved their operational hub to Malaysia.
Prior to this, the immigration department had detained 680 Chinese nationals in Cyberjaya for suspected involvement in online betting scams. Last month, another 51 Chinese nationals were nabbed in Melaka and were hauled to court on December 5. The police also discovered that the scammers were offered “sex services” from their victims.
On the same say, police also raided three units in a Kota Kinabalu condominium and arrested 23 Chinese men and women suspected of involvement in online betting activities in China.
Having detained 40 Chinese nationals in Perak, the immigration department raided a bungalow house in Ipoh two days later and took away 65 suspected scammers from China.
As such, Muhyiddin said the cross-border scam syndicate had not only relocated its operational base to Malaysia but also moved its base within Malaysia from time to time to shun police attention.
Immigration department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud disclosed that his department had so far arrested 941 Chinese online scammers in Cyberjaya, Sabah, Sarawak, Perak and Melaka, and would charge them in court as soon as possible before deporting them.
In addition to the Chinese scam syndicate which may have relocated its hub to Malaysia, arrests have also been made against Nigerian nationals engaged in love parcel scams for many years in this country.
The police have also revealed that Malaysia has been made an amphetamine manufacturing base for international drug syndicates, and have busted several trafficking activities and arrested drug mules of various nationalities.
Meanwhile, the rampant illegal migrant worker issue remains a tacky issue the government has yet to seriously address all these years. In its stead, they have initiated arrest and “bleaching” operations from time to time without tackling the root cause.
The enforcement authorities need to keep a very watchful eye on foreigners involved in criminal activities here. Judging from the recent encouraging raid outcome, we can see that they have indeed been working very hard recently. That said, efficiency still needs to be significantly improved.
As the immigration DG has said. the immigration department records show that there are as many as 18,341 Chinese overstayers in the country, but do they have any idea what these people are doing here? Perhaps the immigration officials should be stricter in screening foreigners at the checkpoints.
We must never allow foreign criminal syndicates to see Malaysia as a country with lax enforcement, poor surveillance attitude and loopholes everywhere that make this country a perfect operational base for their criminal activities.