CATCHING THE CORRUPT
Agency continues probe into racket; more arrests expected
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 email@example.com
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
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers escorting the three policemen at the magistrate’s court in Putrajaya yesterday.