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Johor Immigration Dept chief: Foreign beggars in the state rake in staggering RM10,000 monthly from donations

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

ISKANDAR PUTERI, Jan 31 — The Johor Immigration Department has arrested seven foreign beggars, some of whom rake in up to RM10,000 a month, in an operation at the Gelang Patah night market here yesterday.

The operation, called Op Bersama, was a joint initiative by the Johor Immigration Department‘s enforcement division, the Johor Baru Social Welfare Department, and the Johor Islamic Religious Department (JAINJ).

Johor Immigration Department director Baharuddin Tahir said the joint operation started at 6.30pm yesterday following public complaints on the existence of foreign beggars.

He said action was taken following public complaints regarding the existence and activities of foreign beggars in the night market.

“The foreign beggars were arrested for taking advantage that the contributions were for the funding of a religious school that was non-existent.

“Some of the arrested foreign beggars had disabilities and were believed to be taking advantage of their situation for public sympathy.

“The arrest of the foreign beggars revealed that they took advantage of people’s generosity.

"There are those among them who earn as much as RM300 per day, and as much as RM10,000 per month,” said Baharuddin in a statement today.

The joint operation also targeted foreign beggars who claim that donations are for the funding for a religious school that is non-existent, January 31, 2024. ― Picture courtesy of the Johor Immigration Department
The joint operation also targeted foreign beggars who claim that donations are for the funding for a religious school that is non-existent, January 31, 2024. ― Picture courtesy of the Johor Immigration Department

The joint operation also targeted foreign beggars who claim that donations are for the funding for a religious school that is non-existent, January 31, 2024. ― Picture courtesy of the Johor Immigration Department

Baharuddin said those detained in the operation consisted of Cambodian, Thai and Indonesian nationals, who are aged between 34 and 63.

“Those detained were three Cambodian men and two Thai men. In addition, an Indonesian couple was also nabbed after the Immigration Department officers inspected some nearby stalls in the pasar malam,” he said.

Previously in 2018, it was reported that foreign beggars in the Johor Baru city centre are said to be able to earn RM300 per day, and up to RM10,000 per month in collection.

The lucrative venture is the reason many foreign beggars are keen to escape from enforcement crackdowns by actively moving to avoid being spotted.