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CCTV cameras were dummies, police station chief tells EAIC hearing

PETALING JAYA: The CCTV cameras installed at the Bandar Baru Klang police station were dummies intended to deter thieving officers serving in the station, said Asst Supt Harun Abu Bakar.

The officer in charge of the police station (OCS) said this during the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) hearing to investigate the death of  44-year-old S. Balamurugan who died in custody in the station lock-up.

He was responding to questions from hearing chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam, who had asked what was the purpose of having CCTV cameras in the station when they could only display but not record footage.

Harun explained that the four cameras installed around the station were intended to "warn officers that they were being watched".

"The previous OCS installed a CCTV system as a measure to scare the officers as there were a few who were stealing things. He installed it with his own initiative and even took a few CCTV cameras from the gambling dens they raided here," said Harun, who took over as station chief in January.

He added that the system was effective as only a few officers knew that the cameras in the station could not record footage.

Asked on whether the room which displayed the footage was monitored, Harun said he did not have sufficient manpower in his station and felt that they had more pressing matters to attend to.

"I feel the CCTV system is important and needs to be monitored but we don't have enough people," he said.

Balamurugan died in custody on Feb 8 after he was arrested with two other men and brought to the Bandar Baru Klang station for questioning.

Fellow detainees Ang Kian Kok and K. Tamilarasan had both said they along with Balamurugan were beaten up by an officer named Moganes at the station and their  description of the beatings tallied with post-mortem findings on Balamurugan's body.

The lack of a functioning CCTV camera system in the station has made it difficult for the investigations to take place.