Human trafficking syndicates could have compromised immigration systems at Malaysian airports to help the movement of illegal migrants, says a report by Turkish news agency Anadolu.
The report quoted a source as saying that the Malaysian Immigration System (myIMMs), which uses the RM10.3 million biometric facility to screen all visitors to the country, had been deliberately downed once daily in two major airports to allow manual screening by officers.
“The system is believed to have been switched off deliberately, so when the system [appeared] crashed, passports would be stamped manually,” said the unnamed source.
Bypassing the system means vital checks that would involve international terror databases and whether a passport is genuine or fake, are skipped.
Malaysia has long been a target of international human traffickers who use stolen passports to move and transit illegal migrants.
Authorities have also recently been alerted to the presence of terror suspects wanted by Interpol and foreign governments.
In March, two men from the restive Russian region of Chechnya, who were deported by Turkey a month earlier, were arrested by the Special Branch’s Counter-Terrorism Division for links to the Isis terror network.
Another man was wanted by Sri Lankan authorities over a Facebook posting threatening to kill the country’s president and prime minister.
Although all three have since been deported, questions were raised as to how the men who were either on wanted lists or listed as “terror suspects” could enter Malaysia.
The myIMMs system has come under scrutiny recently following the Auditor-General Report 2015 Series 1 on May 18, which said it was not installed and used at the entrance gates to screen foreigners and Malaysians.
The report added that myIMMs’s implementation was unsatisfactory, leading to claims of sabotage by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.