The lavish lifestyle led by a handful of corrupt Immigration Department officers came into sharp focus following the seizure of three more luxury vehicles, believed to be derived from bribes paid by a syndicate specialising in forged border stamps.
A source told Berita Harian that the vehicles seized comprised two Toyota Vellfire and a Toyota Alphard, collectively valued at RM750,000.
“The latest seizures come in the wake of the MACC’s arrest of an Immigration deputy director as well as two Immigration officers on Friday.
“However, no cash was seized in the latest arrests. Investigations are ongoing,” said the source.
The source added that the three seized vehicles were owned by the two Immigration officers as well as an agent.
“The lifestyle led by the two Immigration officers, who were of grades KP19 and KP22, was even more lavish than some wealthy people. It was as if they were grade KP52 officers.
“The staff concerned also lived in semi-detached houses and led a lavish lifestyle, believed to be from the proceeds of bribes by the syndicate,” said the source.
The source said MACC’s probe showed that the deputy director, who is ranked grade KP48, is believed to have acted as the two staff’s “protectors”. However, MACC has yet to seize any of his assets.
The senior officer is based at the Immigration headquarters in Putrajaya, while the two junior officers are based at the klia2 International Airport.
The trio, aged between 38 and 54 were arrested on Friday evening at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya after they were summoned to have their statements recorded.
The source said their bank accounts will be frozen while investigations are ongoing to trace other possible ill-gotten gains.
To date, the MACC dragnet has nabbed 53 people.
The anti-graft commission had launched Op Selat on Nov 16 to smash a syndicate which specialised in issuing Immigration stamps at the country’s entry points.
Among those arrested so far include 33 Immigration officers based in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA, klia2, as well as the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in Bangunan Sultan Iskandar, Johor.
The authorities have so far seized a whopping RM800,000 in cash, 26 luxury vehicles and four superbikes.
The syndicate is believed to involve an international smuggling network encompassing China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh. – NST