A former immigration department staff member is among those suspected of having created a pathway for the temporary employment visit pass (PLKS) forgery syndicate to hack the department’s database system, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said today.
MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki said the suspect’s services had been terminated several years ago.
“It is believed that the staff had access to the immigration database system and allowed the syndicate to steal the passwords used by immigration officers.
“They used various equipment such as a router to hack into the system to the extent of being able to duplicate the software and print the PLKS outside the immigration office,” he said at a press conference at the MACC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Azam said five suspects, including one with a “Datuk” title, have been remanded for six days to facilitate further investigation into the case.
Azam said of 9pm yesterday, MACC had frozen 147 accounts worth RM9.9 million involving 30 individuals and 11 companies allegedly linked to the syndicate.
Meanwhile, immigration department director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said acting on a tip-off, the department had set up a special team in the middle of last year to gather more information.
He said it was learnt that the hack of the immigration database was done on a large scale and that the department required MACC’s assistance to probe into it.
“The special team did the intelligence work and gathered as much information as possible which led to the discovery of the syndicate. In fact, the home ministry had also taken note of the issue.
“To address this problem, the government has approved a new system called the National Integrated Immigration System (NIISe) to replace the Malaysian Immigration System (MyIMMs) which was found to have been manipulated and misused to approve foreign workers quota,” he said.
Khairul said the new system would be launched later this month and would take a year to be fully operational.