Rogue Sabah immgiration officers made millions

Graphic used to illustrate bribery.

KUALA LUMPUR - The eight Sabah Immigration officers nabbed for selling long-term social visit passes to hundreds of Pakistanis have been making "millions of ringgit" for years.

Those arrested were from the Immigration offices in Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu and Lahad Datu.

"We arrested two senior Immi­gration officers, who are deputy assistant directors and another five Sabah Immigration staff for suspected involvement on Feb 2," said an Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission spokesman.

"We arrested one more officer on Feb 6. They are being remanded until next week," he said.

"From our initial investigation, these officers sold hundreds of these social visit passes to foreigners here.

"They have been operating for some years now," said the spokesman, adding that the officers had raked in millions of ringgit.

Ten Pakistanis were also arrested, including one who was acting as a middleman between the Immigration officers and the foreigners, he said.

The suspects sold the passes, ranging between RM5,000 (S$1900) and RM7,500 each depending on the length of stay, to the Pakistanis on the basis of non-existent marriages to locals.

The graftbusters are now widening their net and are conducting investigations into other offices in the state.

"More arrests are expected soon," said the spokesman.

Following the initial arrests, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who is state security coun-cil chairman, said there should not be any compromise on integrity among government officers.

He also said the state government hoped for firm action be taken against those involved.

Attempts to contact Immigration director-general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim were unsuccessful.