On Thursday, 13 August, a 48-year-old man was arrested after he surrendered himself at the Kuching district police headquarters
According to Sarawak Deputy Police Commissioner Datuk Dev Kumar M M Sree, the man turned up at the police station at 1.45pm yesterday after learning that police were looking for him.
The Sarawakian was recently exposed by a foreign newspaper for his alleged involvement in an international organ trafficking racket for which he claims to have brokered sales of kidneys from poor victims.
"The case is being investigated under Section 15 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007," Dev Kumar told Bernama, adding that the man will be remanded today, 14 August.
Prior to his arrest, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador had said that while his department is sceptical about the claim made by the foreign newspaper, an investigation will be carried out
"We are very sceptical of the revelation, therefore we will ensure that such sensational news is thoroughly investigated," he was quoted as saying by Harian Metro on Thursday, 13 August.
According to the top cop, the exposé by the UK's The Sun that a Malaysian, identified as Shaifullizan Abdul Mutalib, is involved in organ trafficking activities has clearly affected the country's image.
What did The Sun report in its exposé?
In its report on 8 August, the UK's tabloid newspaper had said that the man from Kuching, Sarawak is involved in organ trafficking by luring poor victims from around the world to sell their organs.
According to The Sun, the man bragged about masterminding 45 illicit kidney sales.
Describing him as a "sinister broker" who could arrange illegal transplant tourism packages for British people at GBP85,000 (RM465,923), the newspaper said that the man uses Facebook to lure his victims.
"The Malaysian, who has no medical experience, says he has more than 100 worldwide potential kidney sellers on his books, sourced through his Facebook page. And he claims to have been contacted by at least five Britons offering to sell their organs," the report said, adding that the 48-year-old claims to have been approached on Facebook by another British national wanting to buy a kidney.
The Sun said that its investigators discovered the man's operation simply by typing "buy kidney" on the social media giant's platform
His page is one of many offering the service on Facebook.
Undercover Sun reporters met him at a hotel in Kuching, where the Sarawakian, in tinted glasses and wearing a dark striped polo shirt, bragged about his illicit trade.
According to the UK newspaper's report, Shaifullizan has been hawking organs since 2010.
The Sun said that the man admitted he is preying on those who are extremely poor.
"They're all serious," he said, "Nobody wants to sell their kidney if there is no financial problem".
Claiming to have a "surplus" of potential kidney sellers in India, Africa, South America, and across Asia, he said that among those who offered to sell their kidneys, one wanted RM328,997 and another RM438,663.
Meanwhile, the man has been remanded for seven days
According to a report in Bernama today, 14 August, the remand order against the man was issued by Assistant Registrar of the Kuching Subordinate Courts Mosidi Husseini, who sat as a magistrate, following an application by investigating officer, ASP Nor Elyanis Mohd Yusoff.
Section 15 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, which states that "any person who profits from the exploitation of a trafficked person commits an offence".
If found guilty and convicted, the 48-year-old faces a maximum jail term of fifteen years, RM500,000 to RM1 million fine, and will have to forfeit the profits he made from the offence.
Last month, a Hong Kong-based anti-trafficking group petitioned the US Customs and Borders Protection concerning alleged conditions of forced labour and child labour at Sime Darby Plantation: