Azhar and Syafik at Johor sessions court.

14 December 2020

Two Immigration Department officers have been charged in Johor Baru at the sessions court for taking bribes for issuing stamp certificate without actual entry or exit.

Azhar Ahmad M Salbi, 27 was charged with eight counts of corruption. He pleaded guilty to an alternative charge for accepting RM1,250 for issuing a stamp certificate of exit and entry of foreign passports some two years ago. At that time of offence he was working at the immigration office at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar. He received RM500 and RM750 from two agents through his bank account as an inducement to issue the stamp without leaving Malaysia between 20 Feb and 9 April 2018.

The court sentenced him to 12 months in jail and imposed a fine of RM 20,000. If he fails to pay the fine he will have to serve another 6 months in jail.

Syafik Abu Khalipah, 25, the other immigration officer faced eight corruption charges. He pleaded not guilty. He received RM24,395 from the two same agents to issue the same stamp between Oct 22 and Sept 22 last year. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in accepting the RM24,395. His case was postponed till 21 January 2021. The judge set the bail at MR40,000 and ordered his passport to be surrendered to the court.

Bribery at check points is very common. Many people who are familiar with the Malaysian Immigration simply put a RM50 note in the passport and hand it over to the immigration counter to go hassle free. Sometimes the immigration officer will return the passport without stamping. Those who are not familiar will not check the passport for stamp. But when they exit the country the immigration will claim that the person has entered illegally. More often than not one has to pay a bribe to get out of the situation. Those who take bribe in cash seldom get caught. The mistake Azhar and Syafik made was that they received the money in their bank account.

In another case in Penang, Akashah Roslan,38, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined RM12,000 when he pleaded guilty to three counts of bribery at the Butterworth Sessions Court.

The Star reported.