PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department is getting in touch with its counterpart in Indonesia to learn more about the five Sri Lankans nabbed with Malaysian passports there recently.
Its director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the syndicate has been found to be selling genuine Malaysian passports to those who want to go Europe via Indonesia.
"Our department is doing a follow-up action on reports that the Indonesian Immigration Department has arrested five Sri Lankan nationals recently, who were using our passports.
"This is still under investigation and we are trying to get the report on the case from Indonesia," he said when met last night.
On Monday, an Indonesian local daily reported that five Sri Lankan nationals were arrested at the Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.
They were suspected to be involved in a human smuggling syndicate and trafficking people to Europe.
All five men were caught using genuine Malaysian passports which does not belong to them. They were said to have entered Malaysia and Indonesia using Sri Lankan passports but had disposed them upon reaching Indonesia, the report said.
Soekarno-Hatta Airport's Immigration officer Enang Syamsi said the men were believed to have met with the human trafficking syndicate in Malaysia and obtained the passports that carry faces almost identical to them.
"Based on the information received, the syndicate were using original passports that have been reported missing by their owners.
"The syndicate later sold those passports to buyers who are largely Nepalise, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan who have similar features with certain ethic group in Malaysia," he added.
Enang said his department has contacted the Malaysian Embassy in Indonesia to investigate the matter in detail.
Meanwhile, Mustafar explained that the Malaysian passport is the fourth most powerful passport in the world as it can be used in 131 countries without visa, making it a valuable and respected document internationally.
Translated from Harian Metro