Posted: 07 Apr 2011 01:59 AM PDT
Source: Free Malaysia Today
Patrick Lee | April 7, 2011
Klang MP Charles Santiago claims he knows the identity of a senior Customs officer in connection with the death of the Selangor Customs Department assistant director.
Klang MP Charles Santiago said that he was informed of this by the freight forwarding agents in Port Klang.
"They think that Ahmad Sarbani's death is connected to him (the senior officer)," he told reporters in Parliament.
Santiago said that he knew the identity of the senior Customs officer but refused to reveal it at this point in time.
The opposition MP said he was briefed in detail by the freight forwarding agents, whom he added were fond of Ahmad Sarbani, the Selangor Customs Department assistant director.
Ahmad Sarbani had fallen to his death from the third-floor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Jalan Cochrane here yesterday.
He was among 62 officers arrested in a joint operation in Penang, Johor, Selangor and Pahang by a special task force comprising MACC, the Inland Revenue Board, the Customs Department and Bank Negara.
Meanwhile, Santiago said that the government crackdown on the Customs officials has now put Malaysia's trade situation at risk.
"The forwarders are protesting over the delay in the processing of documents after the MACC raid last week," he said, referring to the Ops 3B operation that struck at Customs offices across the country.
Late last month, some 67 Customs officers were detained following government suspicions that they were involved in money-laundering and tax evasion activities.
Forty-seven of them, Santiago said, were Klang Customs officials. In response to the MACC swoop and prior to Sarbani's death, Port Klang officials went on a "go-slow".
Santiago said both the arrest of the officers and the slowdown had caused delays in document processing.
"It is a big issue because it involves a huge cost. Now the ships are waiting at the port, and they can't unload. When the documents are not processed, they can't move on to Singapore and Indonesia."
"That has become a cost, and it is an international problem now," he said.
According to Santiago's Twitter account, more than 800 frieght forwarders protested at the North Port Customs building in Port Klang yesterday.
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