PETALING JAYA: The recent arrest of 24 Road Transport Department (JPJ) officers by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) is the “tip of the iceberg” of a lucrative multi-million protection racket run by syndicates nationwide.
It was revealed that there are some 100 syndicates involved in collecting monthly payments from lorry operators to help them evade enforcement operations that include bribing JPJ officers.
“This has been going on for decades and big money was involved. The syndicates were known to collect tens of thousands of ringgit as protection money from lorry operators every month,” a source said.
The source said those who paid would be given special logos to display on their windscreens for JPJ officers to identify them.
The source said the syndicates would send their representatives to pay off or “kaw-tim” enforcement officers who had stopped or detained their “member” lorries.
The monthly protection fee, said the source, varied according to the distance and location the lorries ply.
Among others, said the source, the syndicates also hired tontos (informants) to warn lorry operators of JPJ operations in their respective areas.
The source said lorry operator plying the Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh route pay between RM300 and RM500 per lorry monthly.
The source also alleged that aside from JPJ enforcement officers, some policemen were also in cohort with these syndicates.
Pan Malaysian Lorry Owners Association out-going-president Phua Pui Ann said they have no knowledge of such practices.
“If this is done, it is likely to be carried out by individual lorry operators.”