PUTRAJAYA, May 19 — A protection racket in Melaka, allegedly involving senior policemen, took an unexpected twist after graft busters on Wednesday detained a police corporal who extorted money from operators of vice dens — on his own.
Within five months at the state police headquarters, the 52-year-old anti-vice cop had amassed a whopping RM800,000.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigators, had on the same day, found the dirty money in a storeroom of the quarters the suspect was staying, located within the headquarters’ compound.
“He acted on his own and was not part of the protection syndicate we are investigating,” said a source.
“The money collected was all his. The RM800,000 was just what we have seized ... there could be more and we’re in the midst of investigating.”
The source said it was mind boggling as to how the corporal managed to collect the huge sum in just five months.
Corporals, on average, make between RM2,500 and RM3,500.
It was understood the suspect was attached to the contingent’s Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division (D7). It remained unclear how much more dirty money he collected during his stints elsewhere.
The corporal was brought to the Putrajaya Magistrate’s court yesterday and was remanded for seven days to assist investigations.
He is the latest suspect detained following investigations into a protection syndicate involving nine other policemen, including Melaka Tengah district police chief Asst Comm Shaikh Abdul Adzis Shaikh Abdullah and newly-appointed Jasin district police chief DSP Sakri Yusof, in the state.
The anti-graft body started rounding up policemen since Tuesday following complaints by other policemen that they were pressured to collect money from operators of illegal gaming outlets and massage parlours in Melaka Tengah and Jasin.
The policemen would collect money from the operators and pass them to middleman, one of them being a businessman in his early 50s who owned shares in several restaurants.
The protection syndicate in Melaka had rocked Federal police following allegations by the middleman who claimed he was “well connected” and that “money collected by the policemen were channelled to ranking Bukit Aman officers”.
Investigators believe more law enforcers are implicated and that they could be hauled up soon.
The series of arrests of rogue policemen for various offences including graft and drugs in recent times had civil society groups calling for a third party to oversee the force as they believed internal policing had failed.
They warned without an independent body, dirty policemen would continue to taint the image of police and ruin its reputation.