A total of six people, including an auxiliary police officer, have been charged with trafficking 21 Filipino nationals into Malaysia.

According to a report by Bernama, all six were charged with trafficking Filipino nationals at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport sometime between February 2017 and October 24, 2018. The six accused are Amin Ali, 28; Anuar Madjiril Hadji, 34; Omar Sapari, 53; Jashih Mohammad Ali, 54, Badri Jalal, 62 and; Muksin Munib—a holder of IMM13 documentation.

None of the defendants, who appeared without legal representation, submitted pleas at the sessions court. Deputy Public Prosecutor Khairuddin Idris is the prosecuting lawyer representing the state for the case.

The six defendants are charged under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants and Human Trafficking Act 2007. If found guilty, the maximum penalty is 15 years in jail plus a fine.

n 2017, a total of 12,670 illegal immigrants were expelled from Sabah, the New Straits Times reported, citing Sabah’s National Security Council. Since 1990, Sabah has deported 565,242 people.