Malaysian police nab illegal guest relations officers hiding in underground rooms

A foreign woman being led out from the underground hideout by emergency workers.
A foreign woman being led out from the underground hideout by emergency workers.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

IPOH (THE STAR) - The police “unearthed” about 38 foreign female guest relations officers (GROs) who were hiding in underground rooms during a raid at an entertainment outlet in Medan Ipoh.

The women from China and Vietnam, who were in their 20s and 30s, were hiding in two underground rooms that use hydraulic systems to lock their metal doors.

It took the police several hours to locate them in the operation conducted by Bukit Aman’s Special Tactical Squad Anti-Vice, Gambling and Gangsterism (Stagg) on Tuesday (Jan 24) night.

Stagg operations chief Fazlisyam Abdul Majid said the police had to get the Fire and Rescue Department to pry open the metal doors to bring out the GROs.

“This is the first time a raid we conducted involved people hiding in locked underground rooms with hydraulic systems," he told reporters after the raid.

“Previously, we encountered only cases whereby the GROs hid in storerooms, in secret rooms behind walls or in the ceiling.

“The rooms are 2 metres high with an area of 46 sq m, and equipped with mattresses, air conditioning and food supply.

“This is a sophisticated hideaway. Its construction could have been costly."

Superintendent Fazlisyam said the police had to break open the front door to the outlet as it was closed.

“We previously raided this premises at least seven times but to no avail. Today, we were successful," he said, adding that the outlet had been operating for about two years.

“We also arrested 15 employees and 15 customers to facilitate investigations.

“We are now trying to locate the owner of the premises.”