Other than scamming the public, fraudsters are now stepping up their game and trying to profit off the back of government programmes.
Recently, the Immigration Department uncovered a syndicate that has made RM2 million of fraudulent money off the government’s Rekalibrasi Tenaga Kerja (RTK) programme.
Taking it to Facebook, the department said the syndicated collected passports and payments from foreigners to join the RTK scheme and had used a tourism firm’s office as their base.
The authorities managed to arrest 3 foreigners and 1 Malaysian from the operation conducted on 15 April. The suspects were aged between 20 and 47.
In addition, they also found 264 passports including from countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and India which are believed to be used to register into the RTK programme.
The authorities also found cash money amounting to RM7,270 which is believed to be money from daily transactions and activities.
In the statement, Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud said that the modus operandi of the syndicate is to make the premise of the tourism company a location for registration, collection of passports and receipt of payment from foreigners to participate in the RTK programme.
He added that the syndicate was also carrying out activities similar to outsourcing companies which had been abolished by using some dormant companies to obtain quotas of foreign workers under the RTK programme.
He said that each successfully registered worker would later be offered for recruitment to the company’s clients, who paid between RM6,500 to RM8,000 per worker to get their Temporary Working Pass.
Based on the number of passports and period of operation, Khairul said it is believed that the syndicate managed to earn about RM2 million in profits from the fee collected from foreign workers, companies or individuals who were their customers.
Meanwhile, he advised foreign workers and employers to deal with the Immigration department directly and not use any middlemen or agents in this matter.
The RTK programme is only applicable to those in the construction, manufacturing, farming, agriculture, and services sector and allows employers to employ existing foreign workers in the market to meet their various manpower needs.