SEREMBAN: A customs officer was today slapped with 43 charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM69,350  in return for not inspecting a company's lorries at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Cargo terminal.

The accused, Mohammad Zyed Ibrahim, 41, however pleaded not guilty to all the charges before Sessions Court Judge Meor Sulaiman Ahmad Tarmizi.

According to the charges, the accused, as a Grade WK41 Customs Officer on duty at the KLIA Customs Department, had corruptly obtained for himself a bribe amounting to a total of RM69,350 from the owner of a company through an online transfer to the accused's bank account.

The bribe was an incentive not to check the lorries belonging to the company that transports goods out of the KLIA Cargo Terminal.

The act was carried out from Sept 16,  2017 to Jan 6, 2022 at a bank branch near Jalan Besar, Nilai.

He was charged under Section 17(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 [Act 694] which is punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act.

According to the act, any person who commits an offence under sections 16, 17, 20, 21, 22 and 23 shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years.

They can also be fined not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe, if the bribe can be assessed or is of a monetary nature, or RM10,000 whichever is higher.

The prosecution team consisting of MACC deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Asraf Mohamed Tahir, Nurul Atiqah Mohamad Alias and Mohd Afif Ali objected to any bail being given to the accused.

"It is clear that the accused's actions are a betrayal of the community and a negative image for the Customs Department. Corruption is also a serious offence and the accused is also a flight risk," they said.

This is because, the accused never contacted or surrendered to the MACC even though a wanted notice was aired in the local media, and it took 65 days to track down the accused before he was arrested in Bintulu, Sarawak, on May 7.

The accused's lawyer, Muhamad Aizat Fakri appealed for his client to be given a reasonable amount of bail on the grounds that he is a single father of a five-year-old.

He said the accused was willing to be subjected to additional conditions and applied for a bail of RM10,000.

The court then decided not to grant any bail because it took into account the risk of the accused escaping based on the record of the investigation.

The court set June 14 for mention of the case.

Customs officer Mohammad Zyed Ibrahim was charged with 43 counts of corruption. -- NSTP/AZRUL EDHAM
Customs officer Mohammad Zyed Ibrahim was charged with 43 counts of corruption. -- NSTP/AZRUL EDHAM