IPOH: Malaysian authorities have arrested a family of three who are suspected to be masterminds behind a human-trafficking syndicate, which has been smuggling Indian nationals into Europe via Thailand for a decade.
The Perak Immigration Department said on Thursday (May 23) that the family, which comprised of a man, his wife and their son, were arrested after a four-day operation.
Authorities also detained three police officers – a sergeant and two constables – along with 45 Indian migrants, the immigration department's director Kamalludin Ismail said.
The police officers were tasked with transporting Indian nationals across the border, he added.
"The modus operandi would be the Indian nationals would be brought in by a syndicate which would contact the husband-and-wife team, who would look for civilians to take them across the Malaysia-Thailand border before sending them to Europe," Mr Kamalludin said at a press conference.
Each of the migrants had to pay up to RM5,000 (US$1,192) to be smuggled into Thailand before heading to Europe, he said.
Authorities also seized cash worth RM13,750, several mobile phones, two motorcycles and three cars in the operation, which was jointly conducted by the Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Border Security Agency.