PUTRAJAYA: A senior police officer who was actively involved in the discovery and investigation into the Wang Kelian human trafficking camps and mass graves in January 2015 was arrested twice by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for alleged involvement in smuggling activities.
Police Training Centre (Pulapol) deputy camp commandant ACP Wan Hamzah Wan Kadir told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the case that ASP M. Joeking was arrested in March 2015 together with several other officers.
He was arrested again last month.
Joeking, who was then commander of a company from the General Operations Force (PGA) Northern Brigade Battalion 3, that led the operations in Wang Kelian, Perlis in January 2015 when the camps were first discovered, was also said to have been under MACC’s watch since 2011.
Wan Hamzah, who was previously the commanding officer of Battalion 3, however, said he understood that the arrest of Joeking and the other officers had no relation to the discovery of the human trafficking camps.
“On March 2, 2015, MACC officers came to my office in Bidor, Perak to arrest Joeking, and several other officers, but this had nothing to do with Wang Kelian,” he said.
“From what I gathered, they were arrested for alleged involvement in the smuggling of contraband items like diesel, petrol, ketum and rice into the country.
“I also understand that he was re-arrested on March 1 this year,” he said, adding that he understood Joeking has been suspended from the police force pending the MACC investigation.
Joeking was at the RCI to testify as the fifth witness last Thursday.
Wan Hamzah said following the arrest of Joeking and the other officers, he had, upon orders from his superior, issued letters to them to bar them from taking part in any future PGA operations in Wang Kelian.
Following this revelation, one of the RCI panel members, former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai, asked if Wan Hamzah agreed that there could also be possibilities that Joeking and his men were also involved in the Wang Kelian syndicate.
“If he can be involved in the smuggling of contraband, why can’t we suspect that he also had links with the human trafficking case?” he asked. However, Wan Hamzah did not respond to the question.
Wan Hamzah dismissed a claim that then PGA Northern Brigade Battalion 3 assistant commanding officer DSP S. Sivanganam was taken off PGA operations.
He said Sivanganam was not issued the same letter that Joeking received to bar him from duties, but that he merely had his operations limited.
“The decision was made even before the discovery of the Wang Kelian camps. When I joined the operations there, in October 2014, I was informed that Sivanganam and some of his colleagues were involved in some ‘issues’ so I met my superior and we discussed this,” he said.
“And we decided that Sivanganam, and several other officers including Joeking, be either limited or taken off duty. But I deny Sivanganam’s claim that we barred him from joining operations,” he added.
Sivanganam, when taking the stand as witness on April 18, had claimed that he was taken off PGA duties about a month after filing an incident report claiming possible involvement of the authorities in the human trafficking syndicate in Wang Kelian.