The New Straits Times was made to understand that 16 of them are in custody and being investigated under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 for alleged involvement in drug distribution syndicates.

FEDERAL police have, over the past few days, come swooping down on some of their own who worked hand in glove with drug lords.

The New Straits Times was made to understand that 16 of them are in custody and being investigated under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 for alleged involvement in drug distribution syndicates.

Sources told the NST that these policemen, some in senior positions in the Narcotics Department, had allegedly been “protecting” drug syndicates they were supposed to go after.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar last night confirmed the arrests, saying the operation was part of a massive clean-up against corrupt practices in the force.

Sources said the operation was triggered when their investigators, who were probing drug distribution rings, picked up signs and gleaned information about “traitors” within the force who were on syndicates’ payroll.

Among those caught in the dragnet was an officer who wears the rank “Deputy Superintendent” and an “Inspector”.

“The Narcotics Department was carrying out a full-force swoop against drug syndicates, dubbed Op Kabaddi, when investigations led police to information about rogue cops who had been allegedly protecting the gangs.

“Based on these leads, federal police launched a special operation to identify and hunt them,” said one of the sources.

Another source told the NST that a special task force from the Federal Police Criminal Investigation Department has begun rounding up the wayward policemen from last week.

It is learnt that most of those arrested were attached to the Federal Police Narcotics Department.

Sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised speak to the media, declined to furnish further specifics of where and when the suspects were picked up.

“From information received, these policemen had been on the take and were receiving monthly payments from syndicates.

“In exchange, they let the syndicates run their business activities and flourish their drug trade without having to fear raids or arrests,” the source said, adding that based on intelligence, drug syndicates would think nothing of paying tens of thousands of ringgit a month just to be kept under the authorities’ radar.

The NST was made to understand that the suspects had allegedly come under the payroll of the notorious Gang 36. They had allegedly protected the gang, notorious for manufacturing, smuggling and distributing drugs. The gang’s main source of income is said to be from the distribution of methamphetamine, a synthetic drug popular among addicts in the country.

The NST was also made to understand that more would be arrested for similar offences under the preventive law usually used against terror suspects and those who are suspected of posing a threat to national security.

Sources said the special team tasked with nailing policemen on the take are also zeroing in on several senior rank officers who answer to syndicates.

A tip-off that came to this newspaper suggested that one of them could be an officer with the rank “Assistant Commissioner”. Another is a former cop who retired with two stars. The NST, however, has not been able to confirm this.

Khalid said the special operation was part of efforts to flush out corrupt policemen.

“Yes, I confirm that we have started a special operation to clean up PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) of rogue cops.

“I have warned before that police are not going to make compromises in our fight against crime. And we are definitely not going to protect anyone, including our own,” he said in a text message.

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