Officers demand bribes from couples caught for khalwat

MALAYSIA - Three Syariah enforcement officers have been raking in tens of thousands of ringgit each month in bribes received from couples caught for khalwat, reported Berita Harian.

The report stated that the trio, attached with the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais), would demand RM3,000 (S$1160) from the couples about a week or two before they were to be charged in court.

If paid, the officers promised that the charges would be dropped, a source was quoted as saying.

"Such couples are usually desperate and ashamed and will pay the sum to get off," said the source, who added that the officers were believed to have been doing this for years.

The trio were detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission last week and are expected to be charged in court this week.

Selangor MACC director Datuk Jaafar Mahad said two complaints were received about the officers demanding bribes from couples caught for khalwat in Genting Highlands and Saujana Putra recently.

"The officers contacted the couples and asked them to pay the bribe if they wanted to have the charges dropped,'' he said.

However, the officer did not have the power to drop the charges, he said.

"The couples paid the bribes but they were still charged in court."