Huge fine and jail for Customs officer who took a bribe

Huge fine and jail for Customs officer who took a bribe

JOHOR BARU - A Customs officer accepted RM2,000 (S$770) as an inducement to reduce a compound notice on a cafe that was caught selling liquor without a permit.

Suhaimi Abdul Wahab @ Abdul Hamid, 40, used RM500 of the sum for the compound fine at the Cust­oms office in Kluang and pocketed the rest of the money in the November incident last year.

He was slapped with a RM10,000 fine and jailed for a day yesterday for accepting the money from one Leong Po Tong as an inducement to lessen the compound fine against Dream-Dream Cafe for selling alcoholic beverages without a permit.

The offence was committed at around 3.25pm at the Customs office in Jalan Pejabat Kerajaan 2, Kluang, on Nov 15.

The court heard that a team of Customs enforcement officers had raided the cafe and seized the beverages at about 11pm on Nov 13.

The next day, Suhaimi offered Leong a lesser compound fine and he (Leong) was to return to the Customs office and pay RM2,000.

Leong lodged a complaint at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis­sion office after meeting Suhaimi.

On Nov 15, Leong went back to the Customs office with RM2,000 and Suhaimi used RM500 from the sum to pay the compound fine. He pocketed the remainder and issued a receipt to Leong.

Soon after, Suhaimi was detained by MACC officers, who also confiscated the RM1,500 that he had kept.

The Customs man was charged under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act.

Suhaimi's lawyer Liow Boon Lee pleaded for a lesser sentence, mitigating that Suhaimi had to take care of three young children, aged four to 13, as well as sick parents and that he had served the department for 13 years and it was his first offence.

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