No mercy for 10 immigration officers if found guilty of graft

NOORSILA ABD MAJID


SEPANG: If found guilty, the 10 Immigration officers in Sarawak hauled up for bribery could be demoted or even sacked.

This was the pledge made by Immigration Director General Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, who pledged stern action against them.

"It's 10 of my officers caught for graft, not 11 as reported in the media," said Mustafar.

"Investigations are ongoing and I wish to reiterate our stand that we have zero tolerance towards corruption. I will not compromise on this issue."

Mustafar was speaking to the press during an Immigration Department celebration in conjunction with the agency being voted the World's Best Airport Immigration Service 2017 by SKYTRAX.

Mustafar said although one of the officers was caught with a relatively ‘small’ bribe of RM200, he stressed that it was not the size of the bribe that mattered.

“It is a significant amount to my department because corruption has taken place. Even a single cent taken in the form of bribery is wrong.

"If found guilty, the immigration officers will be sacked or demoted”, warned Mustafar.

The officers were arrested Wednesday for allegedly taking bribes to protect illegal immigrants in Sarawak.

They are currently being remanded for seven days until March 23.

Magistrate Zulhairi Sulaiman granted the remand application by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against all suspects, including six female officers, which takes effect today.

The officers, aged between 33 and 53 were nabbed yesterday by MACC in several locations in Kuching and Serian during an operation codenamed "Op Batas", aimed at apprehending corrupt enforcement officers linked to the alarming influx of illegal immigrants into the state.

The graft busters also seized RM10,000 from one of the suspects.