21 May 2019
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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