GEORGE TOWN: Five Road Transport Department (RTD) enforcement officers and a former Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) personnel were charged in the Sessions Court here today with 63 counts of receiving bribes, totaling RM73,600, in connection with the lorry driver protection racket in Penang.
They also faced 63 alternative charges, where in their capacity as public servants, they have obtained valuable things without any consideration from a person whom they knew had connection with their official functions.
The five RTD personnel, low-ranking officers between grade 19 and grade 32, comprised two motor vehicle Inspectors Ahmad Tajuddin Husin, 35, and Muhammad Airil Teo Abdullah, 31. and three enforcement assistants, namely Najib Mohamad Tarmizi, 32; Ahmad Daniel Magendran Abdullah, 41; and Hasrol Sani Abu Bakar, 39.
Also charged with the RTD officers was former SPAD chief enforcement assistant Ahmad Alamin Don, 33.
Ahmad Tajuddin faced charges involving bribes worth RM800; Najib with four charges involving RM4,000; Ahmad Daniel with 36 charges involving RM51,050; Hasrol Sani with five charges involving RM9,100; Muhammad Airil Teo with 12 charges involving RM6,900 and Ahmad Alamin with four charges involving RM1,750.
All of them pleaded not guilty to all the charges which were read out separately to them before judge Nizam Zakaria.
For the main charges, they were alleged to have corruptly received for themselves cash from one Ooi Cheng Keat, 46, who is a director of two transport companies — Sam Lian Transport & Tyre Sdn Bhd and TSR Transport Sdn Bhd — as an inducement for them to not take action against lorries belonging to his companies for offences under the Road Transport Act 1987.
The offences were allegedly committed at several banks in Bukit Mertajam here between March 2015 and June 2018.
The charges were framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and punishable under Section 24 of the same law, which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribes, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.
For the alternative charges, they were charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code with obtaining the valuable from Ong, in their capacity as public servants, without consideration from a person whom they knew had connection with their official duties.
They faced an imprisonment for up to two years, or fine, or both, if found guilty.
The prosecution, conducted by deputy public prosecutor S. Selvaranjini, offered the accused bail of between RM10,000 and RM35,000 for all charges and also requested the court to order them to surrender their passports.
Nizam set bail of between RM5,000 and RM25,000 on each of the accused and also ordered them to surrender their passports to the court. She fixed Sept 12 for mention.
Lawyer Datuk Naran Singh represented all the RTD personnel, while Ahmad Alamin was unrepresented.
Also present in the court today were MACC Chief Commissioner Latheefa Koya, its deputy chief commissioner (Operation) Datuk Azam Baki and Penang director Datuk Wan Ramli Wan Abdullah.