‘SPON­SORS’ ALSO FOR FAM­ILY MEM­BERS

High-rank­ing cops are known to ask sub­or­di­nates to en­ter­tain their spouses, says EAIC

New Straits Times - - News - HARIZ MOHD KUALA LUMPUR harizm@nst.com.my

THE cul­ture of spon­sor­ship in the po­lice force is not only con­fined to top of­fi­cers, but also in­cludes their fam­ily mem­bers.

The En­force­ment Agency In­tegrity Com­mis­sion (EAIC) re­vealed yes­ter­day that high-rank­ing cops were known to also seek favours from peo­ple un­der their com­mand to en­ter­tain their spouses’ needs and wants.

In fact, such a cul­ture ex­isted among law en­force­ment agen­cies, and not just the po­lice.

EAIC chair­man Datuk Yaa­cob Md Sam said the com­mis­sion was aware that such a cul­ture, where top of­fi­cers de­mand those un­der their com­mand to “take care” of their trips, ex­isted “among law en­force­ment agen­cies”, in­volv­ing of­fi­cers from all lev­els.

He said large amounts of money were in­volved, and the pres­sure on po­lice of­fi­cers who re­ceived or­ders for “spon­sor­ship” was huge.

“EAIC is aware of the cul­ture in en­force­ment agen­cies, where of­fi­cers in states have to en­ter­tain their su­pe­ri­ors when­ever the higher-rank­ing of­fi­cers are vis­it­ing. This cul­ture does not only in­volve of­fi­cers from all lev­els, but also their spouses.

“Such a cul­ture leads to the need to fork out big amounts of money to fund ac­tiv­i­ties planned for the of­fi­cers, re­sult­ing in some en­force­ment of­fi­cers hav­ing to turn to syn­di­cates, who want to gain ben­e­fits from their con­nec­tion with cer­tain law en­force­ment agen­cies,” he told the New Straits Times.

Yaa­cob, who is also a Court of Ap­peal judge, said the sit­u­a­tion brought by such prac­tices would only weaken ef­forts to up­hold the law, and could lead to se­lec­tive en­force­ment.

He said it also would af­fect lowrank­ing of­fi­cers’ fi­nances.

“When the of­fi­cers face fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties due to this cul­ture, they may turn to graft.”

Yaa­cob was re­spond­ing to an exclusive story by the New Sun­day Times that re­vealed that lower-rank­ing po­lice of­fi­cers were of­ten asked to “spon­sor” a higher-rank­ing of­fi­cer’s visit to the state or dis­trict.

Sources said these high-rank­ing of­fi­cers of­ten ex­pected to be en­ter­tained, and have their food and ac­com­mo­da­tion paid for when they ar­rived for a visit, whether in their of­fi­cial ca­pac­i­ties or on hol­i­day.

Un­able to pay for such things, lower-rank­ing po­lice of­fi­cers, the sources claimed, were some­times forced to look for “spon­sors”, in­clud­ing crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Such a cul­ture, the sources said, even­tu­ally led to these po­lice of­fi­cers com­ing un­der the “pay­rolls” of crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Fed­eral po­lice spe­cial op­er­a­tions to clean up the force of rogue cops work­ing hand-in-glove with crime syn­di­cates saw another of­fi­cer and five rank-and-file po­lice­men ar­rested on May 16.

Deputy In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim had, on Satur­day, said the to­tal num­ber of sus­pects had in­creased to 21 since the op­er­a­tion started early this month.

Sources said the six, who were ar­rested by a team from Bukit Aman’s Spe­cial Task Force for Anti-Vice, Gam­ing and Gang­ster­ism, com­prised an in­spec­tor, a sergeant, a cor­po­ral, a lance cor­po­ral and two con­sta­bles from the Nar­cotics De­part­ment.

“These men, like the ones ar­rested be­fore, are be­lieved to have been in ca­hoots with a syn­di­cate, the mem­bers of which po­lice have been hunt­ing for some time,” said one source.

They are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated un­der the Se­cu­rity Of­fences (Spe­cial Mea­sures) Act 2012, a pre­ven­tive law that is used against ter­ror sus­pects and in cases in­volv­ing na­tional se­cu­rity.

FILE PIC

Bukit Aman is con­duct­ing

spe­cial op­er­a­tions to weed out rogue cops

work­ing with crime syn­di­cates.

A What­sApp mes­sage al­legedly be­ing cir­cu­lated among po­lice­men de­tail­ing how dis­trict po­lice chiefs have to en­ter­tain de­mands of their su­pe­ri­ors.

Datuk Yaa­cob Md Sam

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