JOHOR BARU, MALAYSIA: Police are beefing up undercover operations to catch the masterminds behind the human trafficking syndicates.
Federal Marine police commander Senior Asst Comm II Isa Munir said detaining the masterminds under preventive laws would cripple the syndicates.
"Our efforts in the past had not been effective as we only managed to detain people like boat captains and 'delivery' agents," he said adding that information obtained through undercover operations were vital in rounding up the masterminds.
"We appeal to the people to cooperate to stop these criminals from smuggling people into the country.
"We hope factual information can be obtained through public cooperation," he told reporters after a visit by Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ibrahim Ismail to the Marine Police Squad 2 (formerly known as Southern Region Marine Police) headquarters.
SAC Isa cited a successful operation in Pengerang, Johor, where a mastermind was detained on Oct 16 last year.
"The suspect headed a syndicate, which had been operating for about a year. We believe that more masterminds will be picked up this year," he said.
He advised those with information to e-mail him at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call the police hotline at 07-2212999 or the nearest police station.