An Indonesian man believed to be a major human trafficker who have been smuggling some 250 illegal immigrants via Johor every month while reaping RM750 per person, was among 13 boat skippers arrested in four raids around Kota Tinggi and Pontian.

Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the operations conducted between May 19 to 31 were in collaboration with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Malaysian Armed Forces.

He said the 47-year-old man from Lombok was arrested along with two other skippers, a local and another Indonesian on May 26 at Gugusan Adela near Kota Tinggi.

Five male and two female illegal immigrants aged between 19 and 38 were also arrested while trying to leave the country illegally, he told reporters here yesterday.

Meanwhile, on the second operation on May 25, he said, enforcers detained 17 men aged between 22 and 41 in Sungai Tengah estate and Tanjung Balau watermelon farm near Kota Tinggi while on May 27, eight Indonesian male skippers aged between 21 and 47 were apprehended.

"In the third operation, we detained illegal immigrants comprising six men and one woman aged between 5 and 31," he said.

The fourth raid on Sunday saw the arrest of two local skippers aged between 56 and 64 in Kampung Sungai Buntu Penerok near Pontian. The final count was 13 skippers and 31 illegal immigrants, he said.

Ayob Khan added that they also seized a Proton Saga, 30 units of mobile phones, RM990 cash and 755,000 Indonesian rupiahs.

He said the cases are investigated under Section 26A, 26H and 26J of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007 and under Section 6(1)(C) and Section 15(1)(C) of the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Since Movement Control Order came into force on March 18 to date, a total of 82 skippers have been detained with 36 of them charged with migrant trafficking offences.

At the same time, a total of 149 migrants were detained and 83 have been charged.