Malaysia nabs six immigration officers for alleged graft

KUALA LUMPUR • Six immigration officers manning an exit point at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) have been arrested in a sting operation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for alleged corruption and abuse of power.

Also detained during the raid at KLIA early yesterday was an agent who was working in cahoots with the immigration officers.

Sources said all the suspects were believed to be assisting some 15 human smuggling syndicates to enable blacklisted locals and foreigners, including hardcore criminals, to enter and exit via KLIA and other international airports in the country.

Some 200 people, many with dubious records and backgrounds, were being "smuggled" into the country every month by these syndicates, the sources allege.

In return, the corrupt personnel were paid "hefty amounts of cash" by these syndicates. The cash was split with agents and middlemen, according to sources.

Acting on a tip-off, anti-graft officers traced these officers through their luxurious lifestyles. Some of them had been raking in about RM300,000 (S$99,000) a month in ill-gotten gains.

A few of them were suspected to have pocketed RM275,000 in just two days to finance their lavish lifestyles.

Sources said payments would be paid into their proxies' bank accounts after each successful entry.

Kuala Lumpur MACC director Razaliah Abd Rahman confirmed the arrests, but declined to elaborate.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2018, with the headline 'Malaysia nabs six immigration officers for alleged graft'. Print Edition | Subscribe