3 December 2020
Efforts to unearth graft activities among Immigration Department personnel has led to a fresh arrest, this time of an Immigration officer based at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
The 26-year-old officer, who has a KP 19 grade and is attached to KLIA’s operations department, was arrested by the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for soliciting a RM22,000 bribe from two Chinese nationals.
The bribe was meant to free the Chinese nationals, who had been detained by the Immigration Department on Monday for using false stamps.
The officer was caught red-handed by MACC officers while receiving the bribe at a petrol station near the airport at 7.45pm on Wednesday.
His arrest comes hot on the heels of the MACC’s Ops Selat, which has so far seen 39 Immigration personnel arrested to facilitate a probe into an international crime smuggling syndicate involving Immigration officers.
Sources, however, said the latest arrest was unrelated to the ongoing Ops Selat, and that the personnel was acting alone.
The source said investigations suggest that this was not the officer’s first offence.
His arrest came after anti-graft officers busted a foreign workers’ agent in Cheras earlier that day.
It is understood that upon questioning, the agent had spilled the beans on the operation.
“Based on information received, the Immigration officer in question would furnish the agent with particulars of Chinese nationals detained for immigration offences at KLIA.
“The agent’s job would then be to contact their family members in China to ask for a bribe to free those under custody.
“The families in China would then contact their friends in Malaysia to help prepare the money and hand it over to the agent,” said the source.
The source said the graft situation in KLIA has reached “pandemic” proportions.
“This is a national security issue. Corrupt officers working at the country’s entry and exit points are causing a serious breach of the country’s borders,” said the source.
The source added that there was no longer a need for illegal immigrants to use hazardous entry points like sea routes and “lorong tikus” (rat lanes) to enter Malaysia.
“It is easier, faster and safer for them to just use KLIA and klia2 to enter Malaysia,” said the source.
Meanwhile, Selangor MACC director Datuk Alias Salim, when contacted, confirmed the arrests.
He said the case is being probed under Section 16 of the MACC Act 2009.