Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dept probes how Myanmar nationals got fake UNHCR cards

KUALA LUMPUR - The Immigration Department is investigating how 307 people, who were among 1,054 Myanmar nationals rounded up here last week, had fake United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Malaysia cards and documents.
Its Kuala Lumpur enforcement chief James Musa Singa said officers were interviewing them to ascer­­tain the source of the forged documents.
"We want to know who are involved. Investigations are still in the early stages, I can't say more.
"The findings will be forwarded to the Attorney-General's Chambers in two weeks," he said, adding that the matter would come under the Criminal Procedure Code.
On Friday, 1,000 Myanmar nationals were picked up by a police task force following clashes between Myanmar Muslims and their Buddhist counterparts.
It was found that 196 of them did not have proper documents while 57 held fake UNHCR Malaysia cards.
On Saturday, police detained another 54 Myanmar nationals in Cheras, Brickfields and Sentul.
UNHCR spokesman Yante Ismail said it was cooperating with the police in its investigations but clarified that some of those who carried fake documents could still have a valid refugee claim.
"If they are in need of international protection but have not registered with us, UNHCR will still advocate on their behalf against arrest and deportation for immigration offences until their refugee claims can be verified," she said.
Kuala Lumpur deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Amar Singh said the conflict between the ethnic groups had ended after talks between their leaders. "Things are quiet for now after we warned them to stop fighting. We are closely monitoring the situation," he added.
Rohingya Society of Malaysia deputy president Abdul Ghani Rahman confirmed that the conflict had eased, urging the opposing group, which he called the "969" movement, to respect the rule of law.
"We have no problem with them and we have no heart to fight. I hope they can see this problem and heed the police advice to abide by the law," he said.
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Hu­­man Rights Organisation Malaysia president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani urged the authorities to take further steps to ensure the safety of Myanmar nationals in the country.
Seven clashes were reported involving Myanmar nationals in Kuala Lumpur and parts of Selangor between May 30 and June 4.