PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today dropped a bombshell when for the first time it made public video evidence of corruption involving the nation’s enforcement taking place, some even in broad daylight.
The video evidence involved corrupt practices by the nation’s border enforcement officers at the country’s northern boundary which has been taking place since 2017, allowing for smuggling activities to flourish.
The commission revealed this in a 15-minute video at a press conference which was held here.
MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said the anti-graft body now has clear cut evidence of smuggling activities and security breach at the Padang Besar border as well as that taking place at the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) in Perlis, bordering Thailand.
She said enforcement officers in the state had allowed culprits to smuggle out acroos the border goods such as ketum leaves, fertilisers and other subsidised items such as flour, cooking oil, onions, petrol and diesel.
"The MACC has had a breakthrough in finding evidence of corruption, smuggling and breach of security taking place at the Padang Besar- Thailand border.
"We have video evidence of corruption (taking place) from 2017 until May 2019. This has been going on for a long time," she said.
Latheefa said the commission made the video evidence revelation today as a warning to enforcement officers nationwide who were involved in corrupt activities.
"Because of this breakthrough, we now know, how simple and easy it is to breach our country’s border security because of corruption.
“Perpetrators (in the video) seem oblivious and were quite comfortable (as if they have been doing it for a long time).
"The reason why we are exposing this is that they (the officers) will know that they are being watched," she said.
The smuggling of ketum leaves and other goods may not seem to be a big deal, however, corruption and breach in border security could lead to other serious matters such as smuggling of drugs, extinct and exotic animals and human trafficking, such as that in Wang Kelian, Latheefa said.
She said the video evidence had been submitted to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador to identify the officers and take action against them.
"We have submitted thousands of videos showing smuggling activities to the police. They should take measure to improve their standard operating procedures (SOP) to curb corruption among border enforcement officers.
"We are also working with the National Security Council (NSC), Immigration Department and Customs Department," she added.
Asked if the graft busters were looking at the nation’s other border areas, Latheefa said they were also looking at possible graft taking place at Bukit Kayu Hitam and Kelantan borders as well.
MACC's Audio Video Forensic Division chief Badri Azni, in explaining the video, said the smuggling activities were quite rampant during the change of shift of officers between 6am to 9am.
"We have also seen in the video that smuggling activities happen blatantly during the day.
"Perpetrators were also seen conveniently damaging border gates to carry and crossover with smuggled goods.
"Enforcement patrol vehicles which pass those areas also do not stop to check (the smuggling activities)," he said.
At the CIQ, Badri said, goods were smuggled out openly, and officers turned a blind eye on them.
"We also caught on video of officers watching (video) and playing with their handphones and also sleeping (not carrying out their tasks)," he added.