Malaysian authorities just busted the country’s biggest passport forgery syndicate to date and nabbed its kingpin

The Immigration Department recently crippled a Malaysia-based international forgery network, believed to be the largest one uncovered in the country.
The Straits Times

An international passport forgery syndicate was busted by authorities from the Immigration Department of Malaysia in a series of raids in Sri Petaling and Ampang on Monday (Mar 5) and it is believed to be the biggest one uncovered to date.

The Star Online reported that the syndicate was headed by a 50-year-old Bangladeshi who initially came to Malaysia in 2005 to work in the construction sector.

He is believed to have become a multi-millionaire after operating the internationally linked network for two years, selling fake passports and work permits.

A crackdown led by the Immigration Department on Monday (Mar 5) resulted in his arrest.

The kingpin, as well as 25 syndicate members and runners were detained after raids were conducted in Sri Petaling and Ampang.

The group consisted of foreigners hailing from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as a local, reported Free Malaysia Today.

A total of 136 forged passports, 87 false visa stickers of several countries, as well as machinery and equipment for falsifying documents, were seized in the operation.

Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said at a press conference that following the raids, authorities had engaged several embassies over the discovery of passports of other countries to be sold to Bangladeshis.

“We have spoken to officials from these embassies to share what we have discovered so that they are in the know,” he said.

Passports from countries such as Singapore, Luxembourg, Canada, France, Switzerland, India, China, Thailand and South Korea were found to be in the possession of the syndicate.

The passports were also being sold at extravagantly high prices.

Mustafar said each forged document carried a price tag of between RM1,000 ($256.22) and RM39,000.

Fake work permits were offered at between RM1,000 and RM3,000.

The hefty prices were likely what led to the Bangladeshi mastermind raking in millions, according to Mustafar.

“We see this as a threat to national security. This is a serious crime and we will take stern action against those responsible.”

The authorities are still on the hunt for other accomplices, he added.