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PUTRAJAYA – The remand for nine individuals, including two officers-in-charge of police districts (OCPD) has been extended by five days, beginning tomorrow to facilitate investigations into corruption involving the collection of ‘protection money’ from operators of illegal gambling dens and massage parlours in Melaka.

In allowing an application from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at the Putrajaya Magistrate’s Court, magistrate Nik Isfahanie Tasnim Wan Ab Rahman approved the remand period for the suspects to be extended to May 27.

The suspects aged between 31 and 54 were earlier remanded for six days, beginning May 17.

They are investigated under Section 16(a)(B) and 17(a) of the MACC Act 2009. Six of the nine are police officers in Melaka while the rest are civilians.

It was reported that the MACC had also frozen several bank accounts belonging to the suspects following investigations on the cases. – BERNAMA

ALOR SETAR – The main suspect in a bribery case involving professional work permits for expatriates and foreigners worth more than RM20 million, was released today.

Alor Setar Lower Court senior assistant registrar Wan Nor Fadzilah Wan Ibrahim allowed the 37-year-old suspect, who is also a senior officer at the Padang Besar Immigration in Perlis, to be released on bail from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) after his remand extension expired today.

The suspect was allowed bail at RM10,000 in two sureties.

In the operation code named ‘Ops Lavish’ in early May, five individuals including one carrying a ‘Datuk’ title were arrested for corruption, among them approving expatriate passes for skilled and professional workers involving 339 applications and 18,626 passes issued since 2015.

Four of the suspects were released on MACC bond on Monday, with each of them paying RM10,000 in two sureties.

The total value of items seized and assets frozen so far is RM6.57 million.

–BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – He is 32 and self-employed with an “active” bank account that allegedly serves as a front for corrupt police officers.

He is believed to be one of the middlemen in the “protection service” allegedly provided by some senior police officers in Melaka to illegal gambling dens and massage parlours.

Sources in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said those who made deals with the police would deposit payments for the service into the man’s account.

“He would then pass the cash to the police officers.

“This way, the transaction leaves no paper trail,” a source told The Star.

It is learnt that investigators are still analysing his bank records to determine how much money has been coming in and going out.

Aware that he was being sought by the MACC, the suspect turned himself in at the commission’s headquarters here at around 4pm on Thursday and was arrested soon after his statement was recorded.

The man, who said he drives a van for a living, has been remanded as the anti-graft body continues its investigation into the protection racket.

Magistrate Nadia Othman al­lowed the suspect to be remanded for six days until May 24.

He is the 11th person arrested in the investigation to date.

The MACC had earlier rounded up seven police officers from the Melaka Tengah and Jasin districts as well as the state police contingent headquarters.

Among those arrested are two district police chiefs, two assistant superintendents, two inspectors and a corporal.

Two middlemen and a suspected illegal gambling den operator are also being investigated.

A substantial amount of cash has been seized and several bank accounts frozen in the course of the investigation.

One police corporal was found to have RM800,000 in the storeroom of his house but the 52-year-old claimed that he was holding it for his superiors. – The Star Online

PUTRAJAYA – When RM800,000 in cold, hard cash was found in a police corporal’s Melaka house , it shocked even the most seasoned graft busters. The money is nearly 26 years of his highest-possible salary.

However, the corporal, who is attached to the Melaka police contingent headquarters’ secret societies, gambling and vice division (D7) denied that the money – found in the storeroom of his quarters – was his.

The 52-year-old is the 10th person arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in connection with the case of Melaka police personnel allegedly giving protection to illegal gambling dens and massage parlours.

Sources familiar with the case said the corporal claimed to be holding the money for his superior, an Assistant Superintendent who is now under remand.

“We knew that there was a possibility that we would be finding a substantial amount of money but not that much,” an MACC source told The Star.

The source said the corporal’s claim that he was just holding the money for his superior would be investigated.

“We have both of them in custody, so we will find out more – who the money belongs to, why this man is keeping a lot of cash in his house, and where the money came from,” the source said.

The corporal was picked up at his home at around 2.30pm on Wednesday as the anti-graft body continues its investigation into a protection racket for gambling dens and massage parlours said to be run by senior cops.

He was taken to a court here where magistrate Nik Isfahanie Tasnim Wan Ab Rahman issued a one-week remand order until May 24.

So far, six other police personnel – two district police chiefs with the rank of Assistant Commissioner and Deputy Superintendent, two Assistant Superintendents and two Inspectors – have been remanded to help in MACC’s probe.

Three other individuals, two middlemen and an illegal gambling den operator, are also in MACC custody.

In an unrelated case, an officer with the Subang Jaya district police was remanded for six days over allegations of receiving a RM5,000 bribe.

The 35-year-old inspector was arrested at 1.10pm at his office on Wednesday.

He is alleged to have demanded and accepted the money in return for not bringing a criminal intimidation case to court. – The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission today arrested a senior police officer of the Melaka Tengah District Police headquarters for alleged involvement in corruption and abuse of power.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki, when contacted by Bernama, said the male officer was arrested this morning and brought to the MACC Putrajaya headquarters to be remanded to assist in the investigation.

The MACC yesterday arrested three police officers and two civilians in Melaka for alleged involvement in accepting protection money from operators of illegal gambling dens and massage parlours in the state.

Two of the police officers were ASPs and one, an inspector.

They were reportedly attached to the Melaka Police headquarters and Melaka Tengah and Jasin District Police headquarters.

— BERNAMA

SEPANG – The Immigration Department has refuted claims that it was not cooperating with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the probe into alleged corrupt practices of an Immigration officer.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said his department was giving full cooperation to the MACC.

He was referring to a comment by Kedah MACC director Datuk Mohd Fauzi Mohamad that they never received any report or information from the Immigration Department.

“We have been working with the MACC headquarters here.

“It’s possible that he made those comments because the information did not reach him,” Mustafar told reporters after launching the new Visa on Arrival and Joinship counters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport here on Tuesday.

He said he has been in touch with Mohd Fauzi and would schedule a meeting soon to clear the air.

It took the MACC about a year to investigate the alleged corrupt practices of an Immigration officer involving bribes totalling more than RM27.9mil.

Mohd Fauzi said the investigation was an effort by the commission’s headquarters and its Kedah intelligence unit. – The Star Online

ALOR SETAR – Four people including a “Datuk” who have been remanded to assist in the investigation into a corruption case involving the issuance of work permits to expatriates and foreign professionals with the ill-gotten gains amounting to over RM20 million were released, here, today.

Chief assistant registrar of the Magistrate’s Court, Rusmini Mat Rashid allowed the four suspects, aged 53, 30, 34 and 48 to be released on Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) bail of RM10,000 each in one surety after their remand order expired today.

However, the remand order for another suspect, a 37-year-old senior Immigration officer in Padang Besar, Perlis, was extended for six days from today.

In the ‘Op Lavish’ raid on May 8, the MACC arrested the senior officer, a Padang Besar Immigration enforcement officer, aged 34, and a 48-year-old contractor in separate locations in Alor Setar and Perlis.

They are suspected of accepting bribes for approving work permits for expatriates and foreign professionals involving 339 applications and 18,626 permits approved since 2015.

During the arrests, the Kedah MACC seized cash amounting to RM1.9 million and various items including five luxury cars, a high-powered motorcycle, several branded watches and handbags, and a fixed deposit of almost RM1 million.

The investigation conducted resulted in the arrest on May 9, of a 53-year-old contractor with a “Datuk” title, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and another suspect, aged 37, at a house in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

They are believed to be looking after the assets acquired by the main suspect (the senior Immigration offcer) .

The MACC also seized RM1.5 million in cash from the house of one of these two suspects and other items, with their seized and frozen assets worth a total of RM6.57 million.

The investigation is conducted under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act 2009 for soliciting for and accepting bribes. – BERNAMA

ALOR SETAR – The Kedah branch of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has detained three men, two senior Padang Besar immigration officers and a contractor over alleged corruption involving more than RM20 million.

Its director Datuk Mohd Fauzi Mohamad said the three suspects were detained in two separate raids, in Perlis and Alor Setar between 10am and 11am today.

“The two senior officers were detained for allegedly accepting bribes from the contractor for unauthorised approval of expatriate passes for skilled and professional workers, and have so far approved 339 applications for 18,626 passes.

“Each individual paid about RM1,500 to get their passes approved,” he told a press conference here .

He added that to date, they had also five luxury vehicles and a high-powered motorcycles, branded watches and handbags valued at RM1.0 million and frozen a fixed deposit account mounting to almost RM1 million.

The case is being investigated under Section 17 (a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 which provides for a jail sentence of up to 20 years and fine of five times the bribe amount or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.

The three suspects were taken to the Alor Setar Court this morning for a remand order to be issued on them.

Sessions Court Assistant Registrar Wan Nor Fadzilah Wan Ibrahim allowed the three suspects to be remanded for a week beginning today to allow the MACC to conduct a detailed investigation. – BERNAMA

Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad

LANGKAWI – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has not nabbed any individual with the honorific title of Tun for abuse of power or graft practices, says its chief commissioner, Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad.

He said after stepping up investigations upon his appointment to flush out corruption, the MACC had arrested several individuals with titles such as Tan Sri, Datuk Seri and Datuk.

However, he said no investigation paper had been issued for those who received the highest award of the government.

“There are complaints but we did not proceed with investigations due to lack of evidence,” he told a media conference today, after delivering a keynote address at the 2017 Holistic Graduates Seminar here.

He made the clarification in his speech at the seminar which touched on the arrest of people with honorific titles.

“We have arrested a wide range of individuals from low ranking employees to those with titles such as Tan Sri, Datuk Seri and Datuk. But so far, we have not apprehended anyone with the honorific title of Tun,” he said in his speech.

About 120 members of the Student Delegate Council from several universities nationwide are participating in the seminar organised by Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Higher Education Ministry and the MACC. – BERNAMA

MELAKA – The Magistrate’s Court today ordered a businessman to be remanded for four days from today to assist in the investigation into the procurement of ‘wakaf’ (endowment) land belonging to a mosque here.

Assistant registrar of the court, Mohd Anuar Ostadi, issued the remand order following an application by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

The 66-year-old man, clad in lockup attire, was brought to the Melaka Courts Complex in Ayer Keroh here at about 10.30am.

The man, suspected to be the purchaser of the land, was arrested at the Melaka MACC office in Alai at 12.15pm yesterday.

The MACC had earlier arrested a former chairman and former secretary of the mosque committee over the land transaction. – BERNAMA