Total haul now from raids on a prostitution ring in Kota Kinabalu is a whopping RM14.95M in cold hard cash.
The Immigration raids on a prostitution ring in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, since Nov 24 has so far resulted in the discovery of RM14.95 million in cash, says its director-general Mustafar Ali.
He said the arrest of a 46-year-old local woman at a house in Jalan Kompleks Api-Api around noon on Nov 28 led to the discovery of another RM1.45 million after RM13.5 million was seized earlier at a hotel and at an apartment.
“The RM100 and RM50 notes were kept in a locked safe,” he told reporters.
He said so far, four of the syndicate’s masterminds had been arrested since the raids under ‘Op Gegar’ were conducted.
He revealed that the RM14.95 million was the biggest amount of cash seized in the Immigration Department’s history.
Most of the cash was found in drawers, boxes, large garbage bags, under the bed or just lying in the open.
Mustafar said the investigation found that the hotel which was raided earlier had been operating since 1999, with the syndicate using a spa as a front to hide the prostitution ring.
He added that although a spa did not come under the jurisdiction of the Immigration Department, action had to be taken together with other enforcement agencies as the prostitution ring was using foreign migrants as workers.
“Besides collaborating with the police and local authority, we are also sharing information with the Inland Revenue Board and Companies Commission of Malaysia on the discovery of the money for further investigation towards solving the case,” he said.
Yesterday, Mustafar said the Immigration Department is in the midst of making more arrests.
He said although the probe into the case was being conducted by the department’s special task force, it had detected individuals believed to have been involved in the ring and has launched a manhunt.
“We will be arresting several individuals soon. Apart from the arrests, we are also in the midst of taking several other actions.
“We are viewing the case from various aspects, such as how the syndicate amassed millions of ringgit and other factors such as human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and money-laundering,” he told reporters.
He revealed that the task force is still in Kota Kinabalu.
In a raid on November 24, a team of immigration officers rescued 17 Filipinas – from teenagers to those in their 30s – who were believed to have been forced into a prostitution ring masterminded by three local men who were subsequently arrested.
The team also seized RM14.9 million found at several locations in the city.
A 46-year-old local woman, believed to be the wife of one of the suspects was picked up on Nov 28.
Nov 29, Mystery of RM13M Stash