KUALA LUMPUR: Three policemen were among eight people detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) during operations in Sarawak and Johor yesterday for alleged involvement in bribery to protect illegal immigrants.
According to a source, the MACC had arrested an assistant superintendent of police (ASP) and a corporal, together with five company operators in several operations launched in Sibu, Miri and Kuching in Sarawak between 11am and 2.45pm yesterday.
“The operators are believed to have bribed the law enforcement officials to protect foreign workers who do not have valid travel documents and work permits.
“They tried to bribe the police and immigration officers, as well as enforcement officers from other departments, whenever their premises were raided,” he told Bernama.
He said the policemen were believed to have received bribes from those operators as an inducement for them not to take action against the foreigners.
In a similar operation in Johor, a police lance corporal was also arrested on suspicion of taking bribes to protect foreign workers who do not have valid work permits at a sawmill in Kluang.
All police officers detained in Sarawak and Johor will be investigated under Section 17 (a) of the MACC Act 2009, while the other suspects would be investigated under Section 17 (b) of the same Act.
MACC Investigation Division director Datuk Simi Abd Ghani, when contacted, confirmed the arrest, saying that the operation was the second after the first on Feb 23, in which 10 foreign nationals and one local were arrested.
“Yesterday, a foreigner and a local resident were charged at the Sessions Court in Sarawak for offering a RM500 bribe to an immigration officer,” he said.
Simi said appropriate action would be taken against conspiring officers.
“The influx of foreign workers illegally would not only threaten public order and national security, but also contribute to the increase in crime rate in the country,” he added.--BERNAMA