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Malaysia
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Wang Kelian RCI: Officer involved in uncovering human-trafficking camps, graves nabbed twice by MACC over contraband smuggling

Pulapol deputy camp commandant ACP Wan Hamzah Wan Kadir attends the Wang Kelian RCI at the Home Ministry in Putrajaya April 24, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Pulapol deputy camp commandant ACP Wan Hamzah Wan Kadir attends the Wang Kelian RCI at the Home Ministry in Putrajaya April 24, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PUTRAJAYA, April 24 — A General Operations Force (GOF) officer, from initial investigations into the human trafficking camps and mass graves found in Wang Kelian, has been arrested twice by graftbusters, a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) heard today.

Police Training Centre (Pulapol) Deputy Camp Commandant Assistant Commissioner Wan Hamzah Wan Kadir, the RCI’S 14th witness, told the inquiry that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had monitored Assistant Superintendent M. MA Joeking from the GOF’s northern brigade since 2011.

Wan Hamzah, who was the Commanding Officer of GOF’s northern brigade’s third battalion in Bidor from 2014 to 2018, said he was personally informed of “problems” involving Joeking and fellow GOF officer, former deputy superintendent S. Sivanganam, when he assumed his position in October 2014.

“On March 3, 2014, officers from the MACC came to my office and arrested ASP Joeking and several others, with me as a witness, but it was not related to the discoveries in Wang Burma,” he said

Four senior officers and several rank-and-file policemen were among those arrested, he added.

“It was over the smuggling of diesel, rice and ketum leaves,” Hamzah said when Conducting Officer Saiful Hazmi Mohd Saad asked what the arrests were over.

“There were written instructions given to Joeking and several others to bar them from entering the operations areas (in Wang Burma). We limited their movement after finding out about their MACC case,” he added.

Hamzah said Joeking was arrested again on March 1 this year, again for suspected involvement in the same offences, adding the latter has been suspended from duty pending investigations by MACC.

Joeking previously testified in the RCI as the fifth witness.

Today is the fifth day of public hearings for the RCI chaired by former Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria and assisted by former inspector-general of police (IGP) Tan Sri Norian Mai, along with six others.

Retired officer Sivanganam had told the RCI that he was taken off field duties after he submitted an incident report to senior officers, with his findings that alleged the collusion of locals with the foreign traffickers in assisting the syndicate’s activities.

Sivanganam had not specified the reason behind his apparent cold-storage treatment, but speculated that it could have been due to the contents of his incident report.

He retired in late 2015.

Today, Hamzah rejected the claim that Sivanganam had been deliberately taken off duty, and explained that allegations of him and Joeking being associated and involved in unprofessional behaviour was the cause of their treatment.

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