Malaysia arrests fake police officers providing vehicle escort services

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Pretending to be police officers, they blared their sirens and lights while escorting a VIP convoy of luxury cars in the city centre of the Malaysian capital.

But as they cut their way through the 7pm rush hour traffic while directing cars to make way for their VIP convoy, the situation took a comical turn when the "escort officers" got pulled over by the real police.

As policemen handcuffed them, the VIP convoy consisting of a Chrysler, an Audi and a Mercedes Benz sped off.

The imposters were dressed the part and their CBX 750 Honda motorcycles looked like real patrol officers' vehicles.

"One of them was a fried kway teow seller and another was a security guard," said the police officers as they pulled the imposters' vehicles into the Kuala Lumpur traffic police station.

The two 36-year-old men had been providing "official" outrider services for foreign VIPs, namely from Zimbabwe and China.

They were dressed in yellow and blue jackets that resembled those of traffic officers and had blue and white helmets that looked similar to the ones worn by police.

The motorcycles they rode were retired police vehicles that had been auctioned off and bought by the suspects for RM9,000 (S$2,950) each.

But what unnerved officers most was the extent the two men went to make the vehicles look like real police motorcycles.

"Its exactly the same!" Kuala Lumpur staff officer for traffic investigation and regulation Markandan Subramaniam said as he inspected the vehicles.

The sirens and lights were the exact match of a serving police cruiser and the imposters even attached a "Terima Kasih kerana memberi laluan" (Thank you for giving way) sticker on the back mudflap of the motorcycles.

The only thing missing was the word "Polis" (police) on the vehicle, Deputy Supt Markandan said.

But when officers checked the motorcycles' storage compartments, they were shocked to find two "Polis" stickers, two walkie-talkies and an official luminous yellow police jacket.

The police also found a bottle of soya sauce in the compartment of the fried kway teow seller's motorcycle.

"The suspects claim the jacket belongs to a serving police officer friend who gave it to them. We are looking into that. We are investigating how they obtained the parts to make their vehicles appear like police motorcycles and how long they have been operating like this," DSP Markandan said.

"The reason why we are telling the public this is so that they are aware that there may be people impersonating police officers with vehicles," he added.

If an officer approaches a motorist, he said, members of the public should demand for the officer's police card to verify their identity.

The two suspects are being investigated under Section 170 of the Penal Code for impersonating police officers.