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Kuala Lumpur -

Police recovered 21 babies and children from a suspected human trafficking syndicate operating in northern Malaysia, a state police chief said on Friday.

Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi said police have also arrested 43 suspects in the two-day operation that started Thursday in six states and in the capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The rescued victims, aged between one-month-old and nine-years-old, consisted of 10 boys and 11 girls, Abdul Rahim added.

Abdul Rahim said investigators are coordinating with international police organisation Interpol as some of the rescued victims appeared to be non-Malaysian and were believed to have been taken from neighbouring countries.

In January, police rescued nine children and arrested 33 suspected traffickers in a two-month operation from December to early January in the same general area.

Investigators were still determining if there is a connection between the two groups.

Child trafficking in Malaysia is punishable by up to 20-years imprisonment. - Sapa-dpa