Human traffickers avoid M'sian waters after police clampdown
The syndicates had changed their operations following stern action taken by authorities here to clamp down on human trafficking. -The Star/ANN
JOHOR BARU - Human trafficking syndicates are now smuggling their victims to Australia via Indonesian and Thai waters.
Federal marine police commander Senior Asst Comm (II) Datuk Isa Munir said the syndicates had changed their modus operandi following stern action taken by authorities here to clamp down on human trafficking.
Previously, syndicates would try to smuggle in asylum seekers via the KL International Airport or Changi airport in Singapore before transporting them via boat from Penge?rang in Johor into Indonesian waters.
"Now, they travel from Indone?sian waters to Thai waters, from where the syndicates bring the refugees to Australia by boat.
"They know that marine police here are clamping down on human trafficking so they have changed their ways," he said in an interview here yesterday, adding that marine police had alerted their counterparts in Indonesia, Australia and Thailand on the new development.
SAC Isa said gadgets supplied recently by Australian federal police, including night-vision goggles and high-tech radar equipment, had proven to be useful in curbing such activities.
"Our personnel are able to conduct patrols and nab the suspects more successfully. We will continue to cooperate closely with our Australian counterparts," he said, adding that intelligence gathering efforts would also be increased.
SAC Isa said marine police would also beef up patrols in the waters off Johor, Malacca, Selangor and Negri Sembilan in view of human smuggling attempts during the fasting month.
He said this was because a high number of illegals, especially Indo?ne?sians, were known to sneak back into their home countries during Ramadan and the days leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
"We have deployed up to 15 boats to patrol the waters off these four states," he said, adding that its 2,400 personnel would be on standby.
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