M'sian cops closing in on more baby traffickers

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Nibong Tebal (The Star/ANN) - Malaysian police are closing in on two other syndicates with the intent of rescuing more babies and children from becoming victims of human trafficking.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said he believed more human trafficking cases would be resolved when the two syndicates were eventually busted.

"Through the Ops Pintas Sayang I and II initiated by the Penang police, we crippled a syndicate and saved 10 and 22 babies respectively.

"We will work closely with authorities and agencies in the country as well as with our counterparts in other countries," he said after meeting Nibong Tebal Rela members in Universiti Sains Malaysia's engineering campus in Transkrian here yesterday.

Hishammuddin also warned those serving in departments and agencies under his ministry to refrain from been involved with the syndicates, stressing that he would not defend them.

"I cannot put myself above the law merely to defend those who are involved in such despicable acts.

"It would be sadder if they were involved, because they have been given the trust as Home Ministry officials to carry out their jobs sincerely," he said.

He also congratulated the Penang police on arrests made under Ops Pintas Sayang II, noting that court action has been initiated following similar arrests under Ops Pintas Sayang I earlier.

"To ensure the success of such operations requires the co-operation of many agencies because human trafficking is usually linked with other criminal activities across the border.

"We have also established bi-lateral ties with several countries such as Bangladesh, China, Singapore and Australia," he said.

He said in the present borderless landscape, it was difficult to prevent the movement of people, money, crime and information.

Therefore, he said, it required the police to work across borders with foreign counterparts, noting that international co-operation in terms of intelligence was very much in to help confront the problem.

Hishamuddin also expressed sympathy toward couples and families that adopted the babies, promising that he would look into their plight on a case-by-case basis.

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