IGP admits knowing main suspect in Malacca protection ring

Whistle-blower site Sarawak Report alleges that a suspect intermediary in the Malacca illegal gambling protection racket has direct contact with Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 14, 2017.

INSPECTOR-GENERAL of Police Khalid Abu Bakar admits today knowing the main intermediary in the Malacca illegal gambling protection racket, Malaysiakini.com reported.

“Yes, he is known to me and he is also known to my family,” he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Khalid was responding to allegations made by whistle-blower site Sarawak Report that the suspect, Gopinathan Krishnan, was in direct telephone contact with him.

The police chief also said that his telephone number is known to many people.

“My telephone is known to everyone. And everybody calls me, send messages to me. If you look at my telephone records, you’ll see I get a lot of calls from people asking questions.

“I don’t even know who some of these callers are,” he added.

When pressed on whether Gopinathan was a family friend, Khalid said he had already said the man was known to his family.

“Why do you want to ask to that extent? Now you want to ask how close we are, whether we hold hands, whether we kiss? Be reasonable,” the top cop said.

“In this case, this Gopi, if he has done something illegal… My officers and I will fully cooperate with the MACC in this investigation,” he said.

The police chief also took the opportunity to blast Sarawak Report owner Clare Rewcastle-Brown for smearing his name.

“Before this, they have accused me of many things like going to Rome using government money. But I was tasked with escorting the Pahang Tengku Mahkota to take delivery of our two choppers,” he said.

When asked if he would guarantee Rewcastle-Brown a safe passage if she came to testify in Malaysia, Khalid said no.

“I will not guarantee her a safe passage. If she wants to come, she comes and prove whatever accusations that she made.

“If not she will keep on making all sorts of noise, allegations which are baseless,” said Khalid.

Sarawak Report said Gopinathan had played a major role in managing the protection racket.

Khalid said those known to him and his family will have to “answer for it” if they are found to have been involved in illegal activities.

Last month, 12 people, including two district chiefs and one CID chief in Malacca, were arrested and remanded to assist in an anti-graft probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Meanwhile, Khalid said the US Justice Department has not asked for Malaysian police to cooperate in its suit against Jho Low to recover assets allegedly bought with 1MDB funds.

“Nope. These are all civil matters. We are not going to interfere in any civil matter. We only look into criminal matters,” said Khalid.

The US Justice Department filed a suit to seize a London penthouse it alleged was purchased with funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, is alleged to have used £77 million (RM416 million) from 1MDB to finance the purchase of the penthouse, office building and another flat on Stratton Street. – June 14, 2017.

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