PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian police have arrested half a dozen Pakistani men suspected of forging negative Covid-19 test results and warned of stern action against those who are considering the same path.
Acting Selangor state police chief Arjunaidi Mohamed said the men were arrested between Jan 20 and Jan 25 and the case was under investigation as he warned against those who forge or use fake coronavirus test results to travel overseas.
"We are investigating this case and the suspects have been remanded so I cannot divulge details which could jeopardise investigations.
"If there is anyone out there thinking of acting in a similar manner, I warn you not to.
"We will not hesitate to take stern action against anyone caught forging or using such documents, " he said when contacted on Thursday (Jan 28).
On Wednesday, Bernama news agency reported that a Pakistani-led syndicate known as the "Habib Gang" sold forged Covid-19 test slips.
The syndicate's activities were exposed when two Pakistani men were arrested on Jan 20 after providing dubious Covid-19 screening test documentation at the registration counter for flights to Pakistan, which led to the arrest of other individuals, including the syndicate's mastermind.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) police chief Imran Abd Rahman was quoted saying the syndicate was believed to have served about 50 customers since it started operating last August.
The foreigners were allegedly willing to fork out RM300 (S$98) each to obtain a screening test slip with negative results just to be able to fly home.
He also said two Pakistani men, aged 28 and 37, were arrested at KLIA on Jan 20, before police arrested another Pakistani man in Taman Tampoi Indah, Johor Baru.
Imran said that this led to the arrest of the 27-year-old mastermind in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur on Jan 25.
He added that two more Pakistani men were detained at KLIA on Jan 23 while checking in at the flight counter with suspicious-looking Covid-19 screening slips.
In a statement yesterday, healthcare provider KPJ Healthcare said it has been made aware of reports where falsified or counterfeit results slips using its Lablink letterheads were used in the attempts to evade detection.
KPJ Healthcare owns and manages Lablink, its pathology laboratory arm.
"KPJ and Lablink would like to reaffirm that these were fraudulent and falsified documents, and internal investigations confirm that all these documents were not issued by Lablink.
"KPJ and Lablink view this matter very seriously, and are working with the authorities to facilitate their investigations, " KJP said.
It added that all Lablink Covid-19 tests were carried out in a systematic, organised and ethical manner, and results are transmitted securely and confidentially to patients and customers based on established and clear protocols.