Immigration officers hauled to court

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has brought to court seven Johor Immigration Department officers linked to bribery activities involving a syndicate which misused the country’s border entry and exit stamps.

The seven were charged yesterday in five states after the “Ops Selat” operation in Johor on Nov 16.

Two were charged at the Kota Baru Sessions Court, two at the Johor Baru Sessions Court and one each at the Butterworth Sessions Court, Shah Alam Sessions Court and Melaka Sessions Court.

One more is expected to be charged tomorrow at the Kuala Terengganu Sessions Court.

In Butterworth, Akashah Roslan, 38, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined RM12,000 after he pleaded guilty to three counts of bribery as an inducement to misuse the immigration stamp.

He admitted having received a total of RM3,060 through bank transactions in Jalan Mahsuri, Bayan Baru, Penang, from one Mohd Azril Azizan between June 22,2018 and Sept 14,2018.

Judge Norhayati Mohamad ordered that the jail term to start from the day of sentencing.

In Johor Baru, officers Azhar Ahmad M Salbi, 27, and Syafik Abu Khalipah, 25, were slapped with eight charges of bribery between them. They were brought before judge Kamarudin Kamsun.

Azhar pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of accepting RM1,250 for issuing a stamp certificate of exit and entry of foreign passports two years ago.

Azhar admitted to receiving RM500 and RM750 from two agents through his bank account between Feb 20 and April 9,2018.

He was charged under Section 25(1) of the MACC Act and can be sentenced under Section 25(2) of the same Act, which carries a fine not more than RM100,000 or imprisonment not more than 10 years or both, upon conviction.

Facing the law: The accused were brought to court to face chargesFacing the law: The accused were brought to court to face charges

Kamarudin sentenced Azhar to 12 months in jail from the date of his arrest and slapped him with a fine of RM20,000 in default six months’ imprisonment.

Syafik pleaded not guilty to seven bribery charges involving RM24,395 from the two same agents between Oct 22 and Sept 22 last year.

Syafik also pleaded not guilty to two alternative charges of accepting RM21,275 between Oct 22 and Dec 29,2019 and RM3,120 at another time.

Kamarudin set Jan 21 for mention and fixed bail at RM40,000 in one surety.

Syafik was ordered to surrender his passport to the court and to report to the nearest MACC office once a month until the case is over.

In Kota Baru, Bernama reported that two officers were charged with 33 counts of bribery involving RM154,340.

Mohamad Hariss Rosli, 27, who was charged with 31 counts of accepting bribes, pleaded guilty to 18 charges and claimed trial to the remaining 13 charges.

Fasmawi Ab Wahab, 24, pleaded guilty to two charges against him.

Mohamad Hariss was charged with 31 counts of obtaining RM152,940 from individuals at a Maybank Islamic branch between April 2018 and November 2019.

Fasmawi admitted accepting RM1,400 from an individual at a Maybank Islamic branch in Jalan Hulu Pasar, Tumpat, between Feb 26 and March 1,2019.

Judge Zaman Mohd Nor did not allow the accused bail and set Dec 22 for sentencing.

In Melaka, another officer was fined RM30,000 after he pleaded guilty to three counts of accepting bribes relating to the abuse of border entry and exit stamps in 2018.

Muhammad Shafiq Suboh, 29, pleaded guilty before judge Mohd Nasir Nordin to receiving RM360, RM320 and RM800 via his bank account at CIMB Bank between July and Sept 2018 from an individual as an inducement to issue the stamp without leaving the country.

In Shah Alam, Immigration officer Baliyan Mohd Bhanudin claimed trial to four counts of receiving RM7,120 in bribes since September last year.

He also claimed trial to four alternative charges of misusing entry and exit stamps at Malaysian borders.

The court set RM50,000 bail for all charges, ordered the accused to surrender his passport to the court and fixed Jan 18 for mention.

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