Crime & Courts

Five policemen detained for extortion: Penang police chief says they will be investigated like any other suspected criminal

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Less than 24 hours after Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain issued a stern warning against errant police officers, five were detained in connection with an extortion case involving a factory worker in Permatang Tinggi yesterday.

The five, a 48-year-old police sergeant, two corporals aged 35 and 38 and two lance corporals aged 24 and 30, are all attached to the Seberang Prai Tengah district police headquarters.

State police chief Datuk Khaw Kok Chin has assured that he would investigate the case without fear or favour.

"We will not compromise on any personnel or officers involved in any wrongdoing.

"They will be investigated just like any other suspected criminal, although they are policemen," he told the New Straits Times today.

Khaw gave assurance that Razarudin's strong caution regarding misconduct among police members would be treated with utmost seriousness.

When pressed for more details, Khaw said the five had just been detained.

"Let us investigate first before we comment further," he added.

Earlier today, the NST reported that Penang police had detained five of their personnel to assist in investigations into an extortion case involving a factory worker in Permatang Tinggi yesterday.

Khaw said the five personnel were detained at 11.15pm here after police received a report from the 27-year-old man, who allegedly paid RM4,500 to the suspects.

In the 10.15pm incident, the factory worker was driving from Permatang Tinggi to Simpang Ampat when he was allegedly stopped by two police mobile patrol vehicles.

Three policemen then came over to check his vehicle.

During checks, one of the policemen claimed to have found a plastic bag containing powder, believed to be drugs, inside the man's car.

The man had denied that the item belonged to him. Still, the policemen insisted otherwise and said he could face harsh punishment.

The man then claimed another police car arrived with two personnel inside, and he was asked to pay RM10,000 to avoid being arrested.

After discussion, the man was asked to pay RM4,500, and the money was later handed over to one of the policemen at a separate location.

After paying the money, the man lodged a report.

Khaw said all five had been remanded for four days to assist in the investigation.

It was learnt that the five had no previous record.

Yesterday, Razarudin did not hold back any punches when he issued a stern warning against errant members of the police force.

Without mincing his words, he told members of the force who failed to adhere to the disciplinary and code of ethics to 'berambus (get lost or leave the police force)'.

Razarudin also reminded his men that they were members of the Royal Malaysia Police and not "police, Raja di Malaysia" (royalties in the country) when discharging their duties and responsibilities.

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