KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested 44 individuals, including 32 officers from the Road Transport Department (JPJ), suspected to be involved in a syndicate that sought bribes from lorry drivers purported for protection from the law.
The commission said some of the JPJ officers detained held senior positions while others were of various ranks, including former traffic police officers. The remaining dozen or so suspects were civilians believed to be proxies for the syndicate.
The arrests were made in various parts of the country under a massive operation codenamed “Sukat”.
“One of the ways they operated was these officers took no action on the lorry companies that had committed traffic violations in return for bribes that were either credited directly into their personal bank accounts or their proxies every month,” the MACC said in a statement today.
“They are suspected of receiving between RM150 and RM3,000 a month with the total value (of bribes) amounting to RM1.64 million,” it added.
Some of the worst fatal road accidents in the country often involved faulty huge carrier lorries, and the frequent rate of such incidents have raised suspicion of corruption among regulators who conduct inspection on the drivers and the companies operating the trucks.
It is unclear if there are other similar syndicates than those involving the 44 that were the arrested MACC just recently.
This particular group was believed to have been operating between 2019 to 2020.
MACC chiefDatuk Seri Azam Baki said there could be more arrests made soon.
“The objective of the arrests was for corrupt misconduct under Section 16 and 17 of the MACC Act 2009. We are trying to investigate (the group) as soon as possible,” he said.