PUTRAJAYA, April 5 — The Immigration Department has busted an illegal money-changing syndicate masterminded by foreigners in a special operation in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor on April 2 and April 3.
Its director-general, Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said they raided 10 premises suspected of running unlicensed money-changing activities masterminded by three foreign men from India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
“The syndicate operates in restaurants, grocery stores, cosmetic outlets and kiosks selling electronic products to avoid detection by the authorities and offers cheap rates to remit money out of the country,” he said in a statement today.
He added that the operation, carried out by the department’s special operations and intelligence division with the cooperation of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), resulted in 29 foreigners being detained at three different locations.
Also arrested were 11 Bangladeshi men, five Indian men, eight Indonesian men and two Indonesian women, who are believed to be the middlemen managing remittances abroad, he said.
Ruslin said the department also confiscated RM300,527 cash suspected to be from money-changing activities, mobile phones, record books and documents of overseas remittances such as to Bangladesh and Indonesia.
‘Based on the amount of cash seized, we believe the syndicate is capable of handling remittances amounting to RM108 million a year,” he said, adding that all the suspects have been taken to the Semenyih Immigration Depot for further action.
He said they are all suspected of committing offences under the Immigration Act 1959/63, the Immigration Regulations 1963 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001.