KL to expand graft probe against police

Suspects in the Malacca case being led away from the Magistrate Court in Putrajaya yesterday. Two district police chiefs in Malacca, as well as an inspector, were arrested for allegedly getting payments from illegal gambling dens and massage parlours
Suspects in the Malacca case being led away from the Magistrate Court in Putrajaya yesterday. Two district police chiefs in Malacca, as well as an inspector, were arrested for allegedly getting payments from illegal gambling dens and massage parlours. Two civilians were also held, with one of them believed to be the middleman.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

State and district police HQs to be included, following arrest of two senior cops in Malacca

JOHOR BARU • Malaysian police yesterday remanded two district police chiefs in Malacca, as Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi vowed to enlarge a corruption probe against the men in blue to include all state and district police headquarters.

The two senior police officers with the rank of deputy superintendent, and a third man who is an inspector, were arrested for allegedly getting payments from illegal gambling dens and massage parlours.

Police on Monday nabbed 16 cops who have allegedly been receiving payments from drug syndicates to protect them and by tipping them off on upcoming police raids.

Datuk Seri Zahid, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said he has told police chief Khalid Abu Bakar, deputy police chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim and federal narcotics department chief Mohd Mokhtar Shariff to take immediate action against cops involved in illegal activities, the New Straits Times (NST) daily reported yesterday.

"(This will not just involve) internal disciplinary action, but also legal action," he said. The Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) is also being roped in, he added.

Police had known about the officers' involvement with drug syndicates for some time, but needed solid evidence before acting against them, Mr Zahid was quoted as saying by NST.

The anti-graft investigations in the Malaysian police force come amid a spate of high-profile arrests of businessmen and politicians in the country in recent months in corruption cases.

The police force is often accused of being among the most corrupt government agencies.

The police on Monday nabbed the 16 officers from the narcotics department for colluding with the drug syndicates they were meant to be investigating.

The men were locked up under a tough security law called Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.

A major reshuffle of the department at police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur is expected following the arrests.

"We do not want to protect anybody involved in this, and we will cooperate with all agencies, including MACC, to determine the appropriate legal actions," Mr Zahid said after attending an event in Johor on Tuesday.

In the Malacca case, the MACC swooped in on the cops as it made a simultaneous raid at several illegal gambling centres and massage parlours in the state.

The anti-graft agency also arrested two civilians during the raid. One of them was believed to have acted as the middleman to help the three officers collect bribes from operators of massage parlours and the illegal gambling centres.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'KL to expand graft probe against police'. Print Edition | Subscribe