Malaysia set to nab more police, military personnel over human trafficking rings, says police chief

Police chief Abdul Hamid Bador said those on the "payroll" of the syndicates would be detained in a "massive" operation. PHOTO: CHINA PRESS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Dozens of Malaysian personnel from the police and armed forces have been identified as colluding with human trafficking syndicates, said the country's police chief, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) said those on the "payroll" of the syndicates would be detained in a "massive" operation following the arrests of 18 enforcement personnel in Johor recently.

"We will take drastic action in nabbing police and armed forces personnel who are involved with the syndicates. Action will be taken swiftly.

"The Home Minister and armed forces chief have been briefed on the matter," Mr Hamid said in an interview recently.

Those identified would pay for their crimes, he added.

"We are not showing off, but instead we are sincere in taking actions against the bad apples. These are not mere fall guys or sacrificial lambs; they are indeed deeply entrenched in the syndicates," he said.

These uniformed security personnel were believed to have secured safe passage for human smugglers in exchange for monthly payments, the IGP said.

He commended the actions of the Johor police in taking down 13 police personnel and five armed forces personnel in connection with the syndicates.

"Our actions will continue on a massive scale, and enforcement personnel who are involved with the syndicates will not escape," he said.

Reports say 18 officers detained in an operation conducted between Monday and Thursday (June 15 to June 18).

Johor police chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said recently that these officers were paid by syndicates using the east coast of Johor to conduct their illegal activities.

"We believe that at least one of the personnel involved received a payment of RM10,000 (S$3,255) in cash for a successful smuggling activity," he said.

Datuk Ayob Khan did not reveal further details, but the west and east coasts of Johor are popular entry and exit points for Indonesians seeking work in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, armed forces chief Affendi Buang said the military would not compromise if any of its personnel were involved in criminal activities.

"We must be firm and stern in this matter as the actions of such culprits will tarnish the image of the military as a security force<" Tan Sri Affendi said in a statement.

"We also leave it to the authorities to take further action against those who are involved directly or indirectly with the syndicates."

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