Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Sad day for the PDRM in Kuantan today, good lessons to be learnt though

updated 1 Oct 2010:

IGP: Thorough probe on police misconduct in drug case

September 30, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar assured that a thorough investigation will be conducted on the misconduct of 10 policemen involved in the confiscation of drugs worth RM254 million from a lorry in Rompin, Pahang, in May last year.
He said an internal probe would be carried out in detail and action would  be taken on those involved.
“Investigations are ongoing and we do not want such incidents to recur,” he told a news conference at Bukit Aman (federal police headquarters) here today.
He was asked to comment on the case of 48-year-old lorry driver, Lee Yong Toe, who was acquitted by the Kuantan High Court yesterday of trafficking 753 kilogrammes of Syabu worth RM254 million.
Judicial Commissioner Datuk Akhtar Tahir said the prosecutor failed to prove the drugs seized belonged to the accused.
Akhtar said the court was also informed of a false report made by the complainant, as well as admissions by several policemen who had stolen some 40kg of the drugs, which were exhibits assigned for safeguarding.
Bukit Aman Acting Narcotics Crimes Investigation Department director, Datuk Othman Harun, verified that disciplinary action had been taken on 10 personnel, including an officer, regarding the case.
Meanwhile, Ismail urged the police force to practice the 4Ps (Protective, Performance, Pro-Active and People-Oriented) in serving the public.
“We protect the people under our laws so they feel comfortable and safe regardless of their status, and we want them to have confidence in the police. We want them to feel secure when they see our patrolmen and our logo,” he said. — Bernama

Original Post:

The Malay Mail have this article today:

Court orders 9 cops to be investigated for theft
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 13:31:00 (The Malay Mail)

KUANTAN: The case of the infamous RM200 million syabu bust ended in high drama this morning when the accused was acquitted while nine policemen were ordered to be investigated for theft of part of the seized drugs.

Lorry driver Lee Yong Toe, 48, from Johor Baru, who was facing the death penalty under the Dangerous Drugs Act, was however re-arrested outside the court after his acquittal.

He was charged with trafficking in 753,359kg of syabu with another man still at large in Jalan Chenderawasih here at 6.45am on May 2 last year.

But it was the nine cops who took centre stage in the case of the biggest syabu haul in the country.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Datuk Akhtar Tahir ordered deputy public prosecutor Jamil Aripin to investigate and take criminal action against the policemen for theft of four plastic packages of syabu weighing between one and two kilos each.

The policemen, all members of the raiding team, had admitted taking the packages as “reward for their hard work”.

Three of them were witnesses.They are expected to be suspended pending investigations.

Before the trial began last month, disciplinary action had been taken against some of them for being dishonest and untruthful when they were investigating the case.

Lead defence counsel Datuk V. Sithambaram had in his submission on Sept 15 questioned the credibility and integrity of the cops.

Jamil had in his submission said the packets of syabu taken by the policemen would not interfere or affect the quality and identity of the drugs seized.

He had said the credibility of the witness was the prerogative of the court to decide “but that does not mean all their statements need to be rejected”.

The defence had also contended that the prosecution failed to call two important witnesses, who were also detained, to testify in court.

The duo, including the brother of Lee, had offered a policeman RM500,000 to release Lee and the drugs.

Read the rest here.

What would have been great very positive publicity for the PDRM in busting a huge Syabu Drug supply ring because of the honesty of good cops in May 2009 was turned into a horrible nightmare for the Police force and the DPP when the Judge acquitted the accused [who stands to be hanged for his crime if found guilty], with the Judge also ordering the DPP to investigate and start criminal proceedings against the police officers who had admitted to stealing a few kilos of the syabu evidence.

The new IGP, Tan Sri Ismail Omar, definitely has his work cut out for him, the mass murders in Banting and now this the stealing of evidence by not one but a group of dirty cops in Kuantan. 

I hope that the PDRM will be rid of these bad cops now and future, otherwise all the great work and sacrifice done by the men and women of the PDRM for the safety and security of this country all this while will be lessened.

I have a suggestion, maybe already done and maybe all police recruits in future should be subjected to personality profiling and aptitude tests as well before they even qualify to be interviewed by the Police Commission. Just a thought.

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