Malaysian authorities are on the lookout for a Vietnamese man suspected of being the mastermind of a human trafficking syndicate sending people in and out of Johor and Pahang in Malaysia illegally.
Police say Nguyen Hai Au was responsible for organizing an illegal exit involving 19 Vietnamese nationals aged between 19 and 50 on a fishing boat in the early hours of January 30, according to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), the China Press reported.
The Vietnamese, who were all found to be illegal immigrants who mostly made their living working as fishermen, were detained at about 2:35 am on a fishing boat that was at 1.8 nautical miles off Tanjung Empit, Endau, in the Mersing district of Johor.
The agency made major progress after the arrest of a Vietnamese woman who was identified as the partner of the ringleader in the syndicate, who was found at a premise in Pahang at about 10:15 am on February 3. It was learned that she had specialized in forging the records of migrant fishermen, enabling them to work and cross borders illegally.
During the raid, MMEA officers recovered and seized a total of 36 Vietnamese passports, 54 Vietnamese seaman’s books, fake seaman approval stamps and other questionable documents. Authorities appealed to the public for information on Nguyen. Anyone who has information should make a report to the Mersing Maritime Zone office.