SEREMBAN, May 15 — A Royal Malaysian Customs Department officer was charged in the Sessions Court here today with 43 counts of accepting bribes amounting to RM69,350, from 2017 to 2022.

Mohammad Zyed Ibrahim, 41, pleaded not guilty after all the charges were read separately for nearly an hour before Judge Meor Sulaiman Ahmad Tarmizi.

According to the charges, the accused as a Customs Officer at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) was found to have obtained a total sum of RM69,350 from the owner of a company through an online transfer from the company’s account to his account.

It was an inducement not to inspect the company’s lorries which ferried goods out of KLIA Cargo, with the offences allegedly committed at a bank in Nilai between September 16, 2017 to January 16, 2022.

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The charges are framed under Section 17(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 (Act 694) which provides for a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted.

MACC deputy public prosecutors Muhammad Asraf Mohamed Tahir, Nur Atiqah Mohamad Alias and Mohd Afif Ali appeared for the prosecution while the accused was represented by lawyer Muhamad Aizat Fakri.

Earlier, Muhammad Asraf objected to the court offering any bail on the grounds that the accused is a customs officer who should be responsible for controlling the entry point of the country from being breached.

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“The court needs to take into account the responsibility of the accused and his act of accepting bribes is a serious crime, apart from giving a negative image and perception to the Customs Department,” he said.

Muhamad Asraf said the accused also posed a risk of fleeing in the future as the authorities took 65 days to track him down including a search through the media before he was arrested at his mother’s house in Bintulu, Sarawak on May 7.

Muhamad Aizat then pleaded for appropriate bail, taking into account his client who is a single father of a five-year-old child and has to support his 66-year-old mother and brother who has mental problems.

“The accused is from Bintulu and did not run away there but instead took responsibility for taking care of his family in addition to cooperating with the MACC,” he said.

The court did not allow bail and set June 14 for re-mention. — Bernama