June 16, 2004

Smuggled passports in Malaysia hidden
in instant noodles

Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Fake passports and work permits have been smuggled into Malaysia from Indonesia in packets of instant noodles, police said.
Police made the discovery in a raid on an apartment in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. They arrested six Indonesians and seized 374 passports and more than 700 work permits, police Assistant Commissioner Hasanudin Hasan said.
Some of the passports were found still inside packets of instant noodles - 14 passports to a pack, Tuesday's New Straits Times newspaper said in a report headed "Have instant noodles, will travel."
"If you examine the packets you would think they were instant noodles because they also left some bits of noodles and the sachets of seasoning in them," another officer, Fauzi Shaari, was quoted as saying.
Police said a syndicate of smugglers had been buying the passports and forged work permits in Indonesia and selling them to illegal immigrants in Malaysia.
Those arrested face charges under the Passport Act, which carries a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment, large fines and whipping.
Malaysia is one of Southeast Asia's wealthiest countries and is a magnet for foreign workers from its poorer neighbors, including Indonesia and the Philippines.

Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"