MELAKA: Illegal gambling outlets in the historic city have closed their doors following a massive crackdown in the state that even saw the arrest of two of the state’s three OCPDs.
A man claiming to be a middleman for the illegal sydicates said there were three major illegal gambling operators in Melaka with one considered the taiko (big brother) who pays off the authorities.
“We are willing to pay and abide by the law if the authorities legalise our operations,” said the man who wanted to be known as Tommy.
“Illegal gambling outlets are not only in Melaka but all over the country,” he said, adding that most of the operators were planning to move out of the state with the current crackdown.
Tommy said he had never dealt with the two OCPDs who have been arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
“Most of us only deal with lower ranking officers,” he said.
The morale of the state police contingent has also taken a plunge following the arrest of Melaka Tengah OCPD Asst Comm Shaikh Abdul Adzis Shaikh Abdullah and Jasin OCPD Deputy Supt Sakri Yusof Zahari.
Many policemen are still in shock.
One officer, who requested anonymity, said the arrest of the two has affected the contingent badly.
“I am not saying they are innocent but it’s hard to believe that they are involved directly, especially when the leadership here emphasises on integrity,” he said.
The officer admitted there are a number of illegal gambling dens in the state but cast doubt on flourishing prostitution rings in the state.
“Frequent operations were carried out against massage parlours here and most of these outlets are licensed and immoral activities are prohibited,” he said.
Another officer said the arrest of high-ranking officers was disheartening and bad for the image of the state contingent.
“Both OCPDs mixed around with all rank-and-file, and were never seen as being autocratic. It’s a sad day for us,” he said.
The two senior policemen are known to be down-to-earth and friendly with the public.
ACP Shaikh Abdul Adzis never turns down invitations to functions organised by non-governmental organisations and educational institutions, and is often seen at gotong-royong events. He is known to be someone who answers calls even at midnight.
DSP Sakri Yusof is described as the “nicest” person around.
Some lower-ranking personnel claim the two have become victims of the real culprit, a policeman who has been transferred out.
The personnel said “everyone in the industry” knows the officer who flaunts his wealth openly and intimidates illegal gambling operators.
One of the personnel also claimed a 41-year-old businessman from Jasin allegedly threatened policemen with immediate transfers if they didn’t work with him.
Melaka United Crime Prevention Association chairman R.A. Saravana Theerta said his team had worked with the OCPDs and “both of them were sincere in combating crime, especially illegal gambling outlets.”
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