KUALA LUMPUR - Another state Customs director has been picked up as the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission widens its net in its probe on a sydincate involving senior Customs officers.
The director, a Datuk, is among 16 Customs officers picked up in the second spate of arrests by the MACC at several locations on Thursday.
MACC director of investigation Datuk Mohd Jamidan Abdullah said the arrests were made possible through information gathered from the 22 people arrested on Sept 3, including Perak Customs director Datuk Mohd Nasir Said and 13 other Customs officers.
"So far we have apprehended 30 Customs officers including two state directors.
"We have charged Mohd Nasir and seven other Customs officers in court on 106 counts of corruption," he told a press conference at the city MACC headquarters in Jalan Cochrane yesterday.
Mohd Nasir was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court while seven others were charged in the Shah Alam Sessions Court.
Mohd Nasir Said, 58, claimed trial to eight counts of taking the bribes, each worth RM10,000 (S$3,909.80), as inducement to use his position as the Malacca Customs director to avoid action against a company over untaxed liquor.
According to the charge sheet, Mohd Nasir allegedly accepted the bribes at the parking lot of Tesco Hypermarket in Taman Midah, Cheras in Oct 2012 and between January and July this year.
Mohd Nasir claimed trial to all charges.
The eight men, aged between 39 to 58, are alleged to have taken bribes of between RM500 and RM130,000 monthly from 2011 until the time of their arrest.
Mohd Jamidan said 15 of the 16 arrested on Thursday had been remanded until Sept 24.
"We are not looking to tarnish the reputation of the Customs Department but we have to enforce the law," he said.
On Sept 3, MACC launched a major crackdown on a syndicate involving high ranking Customs officers.
The syndicate was smuggling high-quality liquor and cigarettes out of the duty-free zone in Port Klang.
MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull said analysis of the Customs and Free Trade Zone forms showed the value of goods brought in since 2011 to be RM1.67bil.
However, only RM420mil worth of goods were declared leaving the zone.
He said that this meant that the excise duties for the remaining RM1.25bil were not paid.
Mohd Shukri added that the investigations revealed that Customs officers - right down to the guard at the gate - had been compromised.
He said their seizures included RM3mil in cash, 10 luxury cars, a shophouse along with 200 frozen bank accounts containing RM6mil.