THREE ME­LAKA COPS HELD OVER PRO­TEC­TION-RACKET SCHEME

Ar­rests were made dur­ing raids on gam­bling cen­tres and mas­sage par­lours

New Straits Times - - Front Page -

KELLY KOH

ME­LAKA kelly.koh@nst.com.my

FOR years, a num­ber of po­lice­men, in­clud­ing high-rank­ing of­fi­cers, was be­lieved to have been run­ning a pro­tec­tion racket for il­le­gal gam­bling dens and mas­sage par­lours.

They would col­lect money from these busi­nesses by guar­an­tee­ing them that they would not be raided by po­lice.

What’s more, if any po­lice­men op­posed their ac­tiv­i­ties, they would pull strings to get these po­lice­men trans­ferred out.

So pow­er­ful were these po­lice of­fi­cers’ con­nec­tions that they trans­fered out a district po­lice chief who was said to have been against their pro­tec­tion racket.

Their ac­tiv­i­ties, how­ever, did not go un­no­ticed.

Yes­ter­day, three of­fi­cers, be­lieved to be among the lead­ers of the group of un­eth­i­cal po­lice­men, were nabbed when Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) of­fi­cers con­ducted si­mul­ta­ne­ous raids on il­le­gal busi­nesses in the state.

The of­fi­cers — two with the rank of as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent and the other an in­spec­tor — were aged be­tween 31 and 41.

They were at­tached to the Me­laka Ten­gah and Jasin district po­lice head­quar­ters.

Also ar­rested in the swoop were two oth­ers — one who acted as the mid­dle­man be­tween the po­lice­men and the op­er­a­tors of the gam­bling dens and mas­sage par­lours, and the other was the op­er­a­tor of a gam­bling den.

A source said MACC had been mon­i­tor­ing the dens and po­lice­men for months.

“The bribes these op­er­a­tors paid to the po­lice­men were to pro­tect them from action against their ac­tiv­i­ties.

“They were ar­rested at 11am,” said the source.

He said MACC was look­ing for other po­lice­men be­lieved to be in­volved in the racket.

MACC hoped to iden­tify and record state­ments from sev­eral po­lice­men, in­clud­ing the for­mer district po­lice chief who was trans­ferred out.

MACC deputy chief com­mis­sioner Datuk Azam Baki did not dis­count the pos­si­bil­ity that there would be more ar­rests.

The sus­pects will be pro­duced at the Putrajaya court to­day where MACC will ap­ply for re­mand or­ders to as­sist in in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der the MACC Act 2009 and Anti-Money Laun­der­ing and Anti-Ter­ror­ism Fi­nanc­ing Act 2001.

Me­laka po­lice chief Datuk Jalil Ab­dul Has­san con­firmed the case, but did not re­veal any de­tails, say­ing that it might in­ter­fere with MACC’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“I wont say that they were ar­rested, but they were called in for in­ter­ro­ga­tion at the MACC of­fice,” he said.

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