KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested five more Immigration Department officers for allegedly allowing foreigners without proper travel documents into the country.
The officers, aged between 23 and 27, were arrested at the Pulau Ketam Jetty and in various places in Klang, Selangor.
Sources said the five, who are believed to have been paid RM1,000 per day for assisting a syndicate, were being detained at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya where their statements were recorded.
The arrest yesterday brings to nine the number of immigration officers who were arrested since Saturday following a swoop by the MACC.
The Star had reported that a syndicate comprising senior Immigration Department officers had allowed foreigners to enter the country without proper documents.
At least four senior officers suspected to be on the take and nine runners who allegedly collected money from the foreigners were arrested in the last 24 hours in Pulau Ketam, Selangor and Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan.
It is learnt the Negri Sembilan and Putrajaya MACC had seized about RM100,000 from the suspects.
Sources familiar with the modus operandi of the syndicate said the ferry captains would charge each foreigner at least RM80 regardless of whether they had valid travel documents or not.
Each ferry could accommodate at least 70 passengers and those who refused to pay would have the “Not to Land” note stamped on their passports, forcing them to return home.
In PORT DICKSON, SARBAN SINGH reports that two immigration officers detained for allegedly receiving bribes and allowing foreigners without valid travel documents to enter the country have been in the business for the past four years.
The two were detained together with a civilian at 7pm last Wednesday.
The civilian is believed to be the middleman for the officers and syndicates who brought in illegals in ferries plying the Port Dickson-Dumai route.
“Preliminary investigations show that they ‘charged’ RM5,600 for each ferry carrying some 70 illegals from across the Straits of Malacca,” a source said.
It is learnt that two operators provide the Port Dickson-Dumai ferry service. There are three such trips every week.
The source said the men collected between RM30,000 and RM35,000 from their activities weekly.
The three suspects, who have been remanded since their arrest, are being detained at the state MACC office in Seremban.
He said the MACC was continuing with its investigations to see if more officers were involved.
Negri Sembilan MACC head Hishamuddin Hashim confirmed the arrests.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said heads of enforcement agencies under the ministry had been directed to take swift disciplinary action against their personnel who were involved in illegal or corrupt practices.
Hishammuddin said the wrongdoings of rogue officers would tarnish the reputation and integrity of their entire agency.
“Bad apples exist in all agencies, but their actions affect the whole organisation,” he told reporters after a closed-door meeting with Kuala Nerus and Marang Umno divisional leaders in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu, yesterday.