23 July 2019
Another 18 Penang JPJ officers to be charged with graft tomorrow, says MACC chief
GEORGE TOWN, July 23 — Another 18 low-ranking officers from the Road Transport Department (RTD) in Penang will be charged for graft tomorrow, said Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya.
The chief commissioner was on a work visit to Penang that coincided with the court cases involving a large number of RTD officers.
“Tomorrow, we will be charging six RTD officers in court to be followed by the rest on the next day,” she told a press conference at the MACC headquarters here today.
She confirmed that the officers to be charged were mostly low-level officers between the grades of 19 to 29.
The 18 to be charged were part of more than 70 RTD enforcement officers who were arrested for their involvement in a syndicate to protect lorry companies from facing enforcement actions by the department.
In May, eight RTD officials and one former Land and Public Transport Commission (SPAD) faced a total of 164 graft charges involving a total sum of RM136,010 at the Special Sessions Court for Corruption in Butterworth.
The nine civil servants, all based in Penang, were each slapped with between 11 and 33 charges for receiving bribes of between RM24,100 and RM4,210 each on separate occasions at various banks in Bukit Mertajam.
They allegedly accepted bribes between January 16, 2015 and August 20, 2018 from Ooi Cheng Keat, a director of Sam Lian Transport & Tyre Sdn Bhd and TSR Transport Sdn Bhd.
31 May 2019
The MACC is set to round up more Penang Road Transport Department (RTD) officers for corruption related to taking protection money from lorry companies and drivers, according to sources.
Previously, the MACC has arrested 79 people and charged nine of them with 164 counts of corruption.
Sources now say the fresh round of arrests will include the officer whose wife first revealed the corruption racket to the MACC, as reported by The Malaysian Insight.
The wife is said to have lodged a report on the corruption racket with the MACC last month, after she found out that her husband had taken a new wife and stopped giving her money.
“Without the tip-off from the wife, this racket would have continued,” said the source.
The wife who lodged the report is purportedly the one in charge of the account containing the illegal funds.
The funds were found to have been used to pay off top officials of the RTD as well as to play golf, according to the MACC investigation.
29 May 2019
BUTTERWORTH: A Road Transport Department (JPJ) officer is facing a total of 660 years of imprisonment if found guilty of 33 charges of bribery.
JPJ assistant enforcement officer Muhammad Firdaus Jaafar, 46, claimed trial to the charges at the Sessions Court here yesterday.
Calm and composed as he patiently heard each charge read out to him, he pleaded not guilty to each of the 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to RM10,950 between 2015 and 2018.
He was charged under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years, a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.
She added that he was the sole breadwinner for his three school-going children and was also looking after his wife, mother and mother-in-law.
Judge Nizam Zakaria set bail at RM20,000 with one surety.
Former Land Public Transport Commission officer Mohd Noor Fadzny Noordin, who faces 600 years’ imprisonment – if convicted – for 30 counts of bribery amounting to RM14,250, was also granted RM20,000 bail after claiming trial.
Seven other JPJ officers were charged with similar offences yesterday.
They are JPJ officers Katimi Azmi, 35, who is charged with 11 counts of bribery; Khairol Naim Mat Desa, 34, who is charged with 13 counts of bribery; Pirdaus Abd Karim, 34, who is charged with 13 counts of bribery; Mohd Fairdaus Ishak, 35, who is charged with 15 counts of bribery; M. Muniandy, 45, who is charged with 15 counts of bribery; Muhamad Syukri Ishak, 36, who is charged with 16 counts of bribery, and Noorzaimi Effendi Salleh, 36, who is charged with 18 counts of bribery.
The bribes, totalling more than RM136,000, were received between 2015 and 2018.
Bail was set at RM1,000 per charge for each of the remaining seven officers with one surety each.
All nine were told to surrender their passports to the court and July 2 has been set for case management.Earlier, The Star reported that a lorry protection racket involving JPJ personnel had been uncovered after the MACC arrested 24 officers in April.
The bribes were inducement to not take action against lorry companies that committed traffic offences.
The payments were also for tip-offs which companies and drivers received about JPJ operations.
Those who paid the “protection” money would be given special logos to display on their windscreens for JPJ officers to identify them.
28 May 2019
BUTTERWORTH: Nine enforcement officers from the Road Transport Department (RTD) and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) today claimed trial to a charge of receiving bribes from a lorry transport company for nearly three years, as an inducement to avoid enforcement actions.
The Special Sessions Court on corruption here took four hours to read the charges to the nine men.
They were accused of receiving bribes totalling RM136,010 from Ooi Cheng Keat, the director of Sam Lian Transport and Tyre Sdn Bhd and TSR Transport Sdn Bhd.
Ooi was alleged to have sent money through 164 tranches to eight JPJ enforcement officers and an assistant enforcement chief with SPAD between 2015 and 2018.
Prosecutors have cited the number of bank transfers the accused received from Ooi, in payments which were allegedly banked in through company accounts and intermediaries.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) says it is at the tail-end of investigations into a protection racket involving lorry drivers who flouted traffic laws in Penang.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Azam Baki, however, added that the commission needs more time to wrap up the matter, noting that about 70 investigation papers (IPs) have been prepared.
“We have to complete each investigation paper according to procedure and also our SOP (standard operating procedures). So (this) will take some time,” he told reporters after the closing ceremony of an anti-corruption training session for officers of MACC’s Thai counterpart at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy here.
“I expect that after this Raya or before Raya there may be some cases that we can take to court,” he said, adding that other cases related to the matter still need approval from the deputy public prosecutor’s office.
He also confirmed that the director of the Penang Road Transport Department (JPJ) had been called up to give his statement.
There have been three waves of arrests so far in what is possibly the biggest blitz the anti-graft agency has made on a government agency to date, with more than 50 JPJ officers detained since April 17.
More than 100 people were interrogated, including 75 of the 139 enforcement officers on the Penang JPJ staff, FMT earlier reported.
MACC sources said the suspects were believed to have received monthly bribes of between RM10,000 and RM32,000 from lorry drivers and haulage firms in return for ignoring violations of transport regulations.
They also said these lorries carried stickers to show JPJ officers that they were driven or owned by clients of the syndicate.
25 April 2019
GEORGE TOWN: Suspected racketeers in Penang’s Road Transport Department (JPJ) can blame a scorned woman for putting them into trouble with the law, according to a source close to the investigations.
She was married to one of the suspects and she blew the whistle on the protection syndicate after he divorced her, the source told FMT.
He said she contacted the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and handed over the syndicate’s transaction records after failing to dissuade her husband from leaving her for another woman.
FMT has contacted MACC for verification but has yet to receive a reply.
If the source’s account is accurate, MACC can thank the woman for what may be the biggest blitz the anti-graft agency has made on a government agency to date.
More than 100 people have been interrogated, and they include 75 of the 139 enforcement officers on the Penang JPJ staff.
There have been three waves of arrests so far, with over 50 JPJ officers detained since April 17.
MACC sources earlier said the suspects received monthly bribes of between RM10,000 and RM32,000 from lorry drivers and haulage firms in return for ignoring violations of transport regulations.
They also said the lorries carried stickers to show JPJ officers that they were driven or owned by clients of the syndicate.
They said the stickers were produced by a “tonto” operation. In law enforcement lingo, “tonto” refers to a middleman in criminal activities or an informer paid by criminals.
These tontos would also warn lorry drivers of JPJ roadblocks before they were set up, the sources added.
The MACC interrogations have nearly paralysed Penang JPJ in the last two weeks. On an order from Putrajaya, Perak JPJ has sent backup officers to assume the duties of those being questioned.
The source who spoke about the whistleblower said nearly everyone at Penang JPJ knew of the problem the woman was having with her ex-husband. They were divorced last month.
It is learnt that she runs a beauty parlour.
“She was very upset that her husband was leaving her and tried to reconcile but failed,” the source said. “She asked for some money as a form of alimony, but the man refused to give a single sen despite making a killing from the racket.”
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