CATCH­ING THE COR­RUPT

Agency con­tin­ues probe into racket; more ar­rests ex­pected

New Straits Times - - Front Page -

THE MALAYSIAN ANTI-COR­RUP­TION COM­MIS­SION HAS SMASHED A PRO­TEC­TION RACKET WITH THE AR­REST OF SIX SE­NIOR COPS IN ME­LAKA. THE STATE PO­LICE CHIEF PLEDGES FULL CO­OP­ER­A­TION, SAY­ING THE FORCE IS OPEN TO INVESTIGATION ON MAT­TERS OF IN­TEGRITY

MEAN­WHILE, THE PROBE INTO THE PE­NANG ZA­KAT SCAN­DAL CON­TIN­UES, WITH A SOURCE FROM THE ANTI-GRAFT AGENCY SAY­ING MORE AR­RESTS OF THE TITHE MAN­AGE­MENT BODY’S STAFF ARE EX­PECTED IN STAGES

KHAIRAH N. KARIM AND KELLY KOH ME­LAKA news@nst.com.my

MALAYSIAN Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) of­fi­cers ar­rested an­other three high-rank­ing po­lice­men yes­ter­day, with more ex­pected as the anti-graft body con­tin­ues to in­ves­ti­gate a pro­tec­tion racket run by se­nior cops in­volv­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of ring­git.

The lat­est ar­rests in­volved two dis­trict po­lice chiefs and an in­spec­tor from the state po­lice head­quar­ters.

This brings to six the num­ber of se­nior po­lice­men ar­rested, and nine over­all, as MACC sweeps the state of a racket which saw po­lice­men col­lect­ing money from il­le­gal gam­bling dens and mas­sage par­lours.

The money was paid to the of­fi­cers to en­sure that the il­le­gal busi­nesses were free of any po­lice ac­tion against them.

The high­est-rank­ing of­fi­cer among the six is Me­laka Ten­gah po­lice chief As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Shaikh Ab­dul Adzis Shaikh Ab­dul­lah, fol­lowed by his Jasin coun­ter­part Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent Sakri Yu­soff @ Za­hari.

They were de­tained here some time be­tween 12.40am and 4.30am yes­ter­day, and in Pu­tra­jaya later in the morn­ing, re­spec­tively.

The in­spec­tor, from the state Anti-Vice, Gam­ing and Se­cret So­ci­eties Divi­sion, was also picked up early yes­ter­day.

The night be­fore, MACC of­fi­cers had de­tained two as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dents and an in­spec­tor from the state po­lice head­quar­ters and Me­laka Ten­gah and Jasin dis­trict head­quar­ters.

The three other men, also ar­rested that day in the op­er­a­tion co­de­named Op Gopi, were be­lieved to have been the mid­dle­men be­tween the po­lice of­fi­cers and the op­er­a­tors of the il­le­gal busi­nesses.

MACC ob­tained a six-day re­mand or­der against all nine at the Pu­tra­jaya mag­is­trate’s court. Mag­is­trate Muhamad Sa­fuan Azhar granted the or­der when the nine were brought be­fore him in two batches yes­ter­day.

They are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated un­der Sec­tions 16 and 17 of the MACC Act 2009 for ac­cept­ing and giv­ing grat­i­fi­ca­tion.

Sources said MACC had seized RM186,000 from sev­eral of the of­fi­cers and an­other RM459,000 from their bank ac­counts.

“The cash was found in the houses of sev­eral of the sus­pects. It is be­lieved that this and the ma­jor­ity of the money in the bank ac­counts are part of the money they had squeezed from the il­le­gal busi­nesses,” said a source.

MACC deputy chief com­mis­sioner (op­er­a­tions) Datuk Azam Baki con­firmed this, but de­clined to elab­o­rate.

Me­laka po­lice chief Datuk Ab­dul Jalil Has­san, in a press con­fer­ence ear­lier, had only con­firmed that an of­fi­cer from Me­laka Ten­gah was de­tained here while an of­fi­cer from Jasin had been de­tained when he went to MACC head­quar­ters in Pu­tra­jaya on his own vo­li­tion.

It was re­ported yes­ter­day that sev­eral of­fi­cers in the state had been run­ning the pro­tec­tion racket for quite some time.

As se­nior of­fi­cers, they had such power that those who were aware of their ac­tiv­i­ties but would not “play along” were, at the very least, os­tracised, even trans­ferred out.

In fact, they were said to have been so pow­er­ful that they had man­aged to get a pre­vi­ous dis­trict po­lice chief to be trans­ferred out be­cause he did not ap­prove of their ac­tiv­i­ties.

Sources said the ac­tiv­i­ties of the rogue cops had caused a mush­room­ing of vice dens such as the gam­bling cen­tres and mas­sage par­lours they had col­lected pro­tec­tion money from. Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Jane Raj

AH­MAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR PIC BY

Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion of­fi­cers es­cort­ing the three po­lice­men at the mag­is­trate’s court in Pu­tra­jaya yes­ter­day.

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