Fake Malaysian visas used to dupe Indian workers

CHENNAI: Dodgy Indian manpower agencies are selling fake Malaysian visas to send dozens of unsuspecting Indian workers to Malaysia for employment - triggering fear among officials this could lead to human trafficking.

In the last three months alone, 95 cases of forged visa were detected by the Chennai-based Malaysian consulate, but authorities fear the number could even be twice that as crafty inter-state syndicates operating across India have a hand in the dubious operation.

"We can't detect these visas until it (the matter) is brought to our attention. They duplicate our immigration officers' signatures and official immigration chop.

"Most of these fake visas are issued in places like Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and West Bengal to send workers to Malaysia. We receive four to five cases a month; this is becoming a serious problem," Consul General Anuar Kasman told Bernama.

In the latest case, 19 passports belonging to Indian nationals with fake visa stamps were detected by the authorities.

Desperate Indian workers, mostly from far-flung states, are reported to be paying close to 50,000 Indian rupees (RM3,200) to recruiting agents to obtain documents to enter Malaysia.

Earlier this month, the Malaysian government announced it would recruit 45,000 Indian workers to plug the manpower shortage in critical sectors. Currently, close to 100,000 Indian nationals are working in Malaysia, largely in the services sector. - Bernama