9 officers face 164 bribery charges linked to lorry protection syndicate

Anti-graft officers from MACC carry boxes containing documents related to the bribery charges filed against nine enforcement officers at the Sessions Court in Butterworth, Penang today.

BUTTERWORTH: Nine enforcement officers from the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) today claimed trial to a charge of receiving bribes from a lorry transport company for nearly three years, as an inducement to avoid enforcement actions.

The Special Sessions Court on corruption here took four hours to read the charges to the nine men.

They were accused of receiving bribes totalling RM136,010 from Ooi Cheng Keat, the director of Sam Lian Transport and Tyre Sdn Bhd and TSR Transport Sdn Bhd.

Ooi was alleged to have sent money through 164 tranches to eight JPJ enforcement officers and an assistant enforcement chief with SPAD between 2015 and 2018.

Prosecutors have cited the number of bank transfers the accused received from Ooi, in payments which were allegedly banked in through company accounts and intermediaries.

The nine were charged with receiving bribes under Section 16 (a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and given an alternative charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code.

Under the Penal Code, they face a maximum jail term of two years and a fine, while under the MACC Act they face a maximum of 20 years’ jail and a fine five times the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The bribes were allegedly given by two lorry companies to prevent enforcement action under the Road Transport Act 1987 or SPAD Act 2010 on the vehicles owned by the companies.

Judge Nizam Zakaria allowed bail ranging from RM11,000 to RM20,000 with sureties, and impounded the passports of the accused.

She set July 2 for mention of the case again.

Deputy public prosecutor Selvaranjini Selvaraja prosecuted.

The charges and bail allowed for each JPJ staff are as follows:

1. Khairol Naim Mat Desa, 34, JPJ motor vehicle inspector, was charged with receiving a total of RM24,100 in 13 tranches between July 2, 2016 and Aug 20, 2018, into his CIMB Bank account.

He was allowed bail of RM13,000.

2. Muhamad Syukri Ishak, 36, JPJ motor vehicle inspector, was charged with receiving a total of RM24,000 in 16 tranches into a Maybank account registered to Nurul Atikah Mohd Khashim from May 10, 2016 to June 12, 2018.

He is alleged to have received the money from Sam Lian Transport and Tyre Sdn Bhd and TSR Transport Sdn Bhd director Ooi Cheng Keat via intermediary Nurul Atikah.

He was allowed bail of RM16,000 with one surety. Nizam told him to seek a lawyer from the Legal Aid Bureau, as he was unrepresented.

3. Katimi Azmi, 35, JPJ assistant enforcement officer, was charged with receiving a total of RM16,600 in 11 tranches into his Maybank account from Aug 5, 2017 to June 20, 2018.

He was allowed bail of RM11,000.

4. Mohd Noor Fadzny Noordin, 32, SPAD northern region assistant enforcement chief, was charged with receiving a total of RM14,250 in 30 tranches into his Maybank account from July 15, 2015 to July 11, 2018.

He was allowed bail of RM20,000.

5. Muniandy Munusamy, 45, JPJ assistant enforcement officer, was charged with receiving a total of RM9,750 in 15 tranches between Feb 15, 2016 and Aug 1, 2017 into his Maybank account.

He was allowed bail of RM15,000.

6. Pirdaus Abd Karim, 34, JPJ assistant enforcement officer, was charged with receiving a total of RM8,600 in 15 tranches between Feb 6, 2017 and Aug 14, 2018 into his Maybank account.

He was allowed bail of RM13,000.

7. Mohd Fairdaus Ishak, 32, JPJ assistant enforcement officer, was charged with receiving a total of RM4,210 in 15 tranches between Jan 16, 2015 and Feb 3, 2018 into his Maybank account.

He was offered bail of RM15,000.

All the accused above were alleged to have received the money from Ooi and Sam Lian Transport and Tyre Sdn Bhd.

8. Noorzaimi Effendi Salleh, 36, JPJ motor vehicle inspector, was charged with receiving a total of RM23,550 in 18 tranches between July 5, 2016 and May 10, 2018 into a Maybank account registered to Nor Fatehah Ahmat.

He was allowed bail of RM18,000.

9. Muhammad Firdaus Jaafar, 46, JPJ assistant enforcement officer, was charged with receiving a total of RM10,950 in 10 tranches between March 13, 2015 and June 8, 2018 into a Maybank account registered to Norshalida Mustapa.

He was allowed bail of RM20,000.

Both are alleged to have received the money from Ooi and Sam Lian Transport and Tyre Sdn Bhd.

They were charged under Section 16 (a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009 for corruptly soliciting or receiving bribes as an inducement not to take action against the companies.