The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today said that the country’s immigration database had been hacked by a syndicate involved in the forgery of temporary employment visit passes.
The anti-graft agency also said five people aged 33 to 43 including the syndicate leader, who has a “Datuk” title, were arrested in Kuala Lumpur last night with the cooperation of the immigration department.
Software for two computer cloning systems was also seized along with a transmitter used by the syndicate in the operation which was carried out at 22 spots around the capital city.
“The activities carried out by the suspects had caused the government hundreds of millions of ringgit in losses in the form of foreign workers’ levy,” an MACC source said.
“The syndicate also had insiders working with it, which allowed it to hack into the immigration department’s database by installing a transmitter to enable syndicate members to change officers’ passwords and key in names illegally as well as the personal details of foreign workers.”
According to the source, the passes would be printed at the syndicate’s operation centre at a leading hotel in Jalan Sultan Ismail and then sold for RM6,000 to RM8,000 each to foreigners working in the country illegally.
“However, they kept relocating their operation centre, including to luxury hotels, to avoid detection,” the source said, adding that for a fee, the syndicate would also “switch on” and “switch off” the blacklist status of individuals to allow them to pass through immigration checkpoints at airports.
MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki confirmed the arrests and said the case is being investigated under Section 17 of the MACC Act 2009.