JOHOR BARU: The dragnet to nail down fugitive businessman Nicky Liow Soon Hee saw policemen and graft-busters arrested for suspected links to the leader of the infamous Nicky Gang.
The police arrested 10 of its own men and two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers, including an assistant commissioner.
The police officers are based at Bukit Aman (two), Selangor (four), Kuala Lumpur (two) and one each from Negri Sembilan and Melaka.
“This is the first time enforcement and anti-graft officers were arrested in the investigation into the case, ” said Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay (pic) yesterday.
He said those not from Bukit Aman were based at the states’ headquarters.
During a press conference here, Comm Ayob said the officers in Bukit Aman were ranked Superintendent and Inspector, Selangor (Deputy Supt, Asst Supt and Inspector), Kuala Lumpur (ASP), Negri Sembilan (Inspector) and Melaka (DSP).
“They were arrested under the second phase of Ops Pelican 3.0 in several states between last Wednesday and yesterday.
“The MACC officers were arrested in Putrajaya, ” he said, adding that they were aged between 36 and 49.
The 12 enforcement officers are being investigated under Section 130V to Section 130ZB of the Penal Code and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.
“Under Sosma, the police can detain them for 28 days to help with our investigation into the case.
“With the latest arrest, it will help the police to track down Liow.
“In total, we have arrested 64 individuals and we are continuing with our investigations as Nicky Gang is quite huge with a wide network, ” he said.
In a related development, Johor police have detected the release of classified information pertaining to the 12 enforcement officers who were arrested.
Comm Ayob said a name list of the 12 officers had been circulated by a certain individual through WhatsApp.
“We are tracking down the individual involved and action can be taken under Section 203A(1) of the Penal Code, ” he said.
In Putrajaya, MACC chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki said if there were more of its officers found to be involved in the case he would submit them to the police.
He said there would be “no compromise” on any of its officers found to be involved in illegal activities related to the criminal syndicate.
“The MACC gave its support to the police and surrendered the two officers over to facilitate investigations. I view this as a serious matter and will not compromise on this issue.
“In fact, if there are more of our officers found to be involved, I will hand them over, ” Azam said in a statement.
On March 30, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador revealed that Liow had at least 34 people in law enforcement agencies under his “payroll”, including a former deputy public prosecutor to act as a fixer for the syndicate.
Police began massive operations to cripple the syndicate after receiving a report on the bogus sale of a cellphone worth RM1,500 in Pontian.
Investigations revealed that Liow, 33, was last seen at Setiawalk, Puchong, on March 20.
He is believed to be hiding in the country and on the run with several bags of cash.
The police had obtained an Interpol Red Notice to locate and arrest the missing syndicate leader and his Chinese assistant Niu Zhi, aged 31.
On April 9, Liow and his brother were charged in absentia at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court for alleged involvement in an organised crime group.