Rohingya refugee in Malaysia gets extended jail term for harbouring illegal migrants

Rohingya refugee in Malaysia gets extended jail term for harbouring illegal migrants

Photo of a migrant holding onto a metal mesh inside a police van in Malaysia. (Photo: AFP/ Manan Vatsyayana) 

PUTRAJAYA: A Rohingya refugee was on Friday (Oct 13) sentenced to another two years' jail by Malaysia's Court of Appeal for harbouring smuggled migrants.

Mohd Hussein Mohd Kassim, 30, originally received a three-year jail sentence, but this was increase to five.

He was arrested on Jul 2, 2015 for harbouring 20 Bangladeshi and Myanmar migrants who were smuggled into Malaysia. The smuggled migrants, aged between 18 and 54 years old, were confined to a space and found to be in weak condition.

Hussein, who is registered under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), had pleaded guilty and was already serving jail term before his sentence was increased.

"The (original) jail sentence imposed by the Alor Setar High Court was manifestly inadequate. The prosecution's appeal (for an increase in the jail sentence) is allowed," said Justice Mohtarudin who chaired the court panel.

During Friday's proceeding, Justice Zakaria said that Hussein, as a refugee himself, should be thankful that Malaysia has given him refuge but instead he got involved in a syndicate.

On Sep 15, his compatriot Muhammad Yunus also had his jail term increased from three to five years by the Court of Appeal for a similar offence.

Source: Bernama/ad

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