An MACC officer escorting one of the four suspects
PETALING JAYA: Four policemen have been detained for allegedly accepting protection money from errant lorry operators and traders of ketum leaves.
They were picked up in separate raids in Kulim, Raub and Penang between 9am and 1pm Monday.
Two of suspects - a corporal and a sergeant-major, aged 53 and 57 - are believed to have each solicited and received up to RM900 per month from the lorry operators.
The money was meant as inducement not to take action against the drivers for offences under the Road Transport Act.
The offences include lorries not having insurance, invalid road tax and overloading.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers also detained an inspector and a corporal over allegations of turning a blind eye against ketum traders.
The men, aged 33 dan 31, are said to have pocketed between RM2,000 and RM3,500 monthly from these traders.
Under the Poison Act, action can be taken against those trading in the addictive substance.
Investigations showed that the traders can get a net profit of RM350 per day from the sale of ketum water to addicts, who included youths and students.
MACC director of investigations Datuk Simi Abd Ghani confirmed the arrests of the four policemen.
Simi said the four suspects would be remanded to assist in the investigations.
"We view the matter seriously as enforcement officers are supposed to uphold the law.
"But what they did was contrary to their responsibilities and moral principles," he said.
Last week, The Star reported that the MACC was zeroing in on corrupt officers giving protection to ketum traders and errant lorry operators.
The move was in line with the on-going sting operation nationwide against enforcement officers of various agencies suspected to be on the take.