KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 – Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has warned that enforcement authorities will not hesitate to wield the country’s preventive laws to detain those suspected of involvement in money laundering activities.
He said the police in particular would not compromise when taking action on those who allegedly participated in illegal activities such as misusing bank accounts to transact illicit payments.
“If there are no witnesses brave enough to provide information or if there is insufficient evidence to press criminal charges against the suspects, the police will not be lenient in using Poca (Prevention of Crime Act 1959),” he said, referring to the legislation which allows detention without trial.
“This is my promise in combatting the various scam activities in the country,” he said in his speech at a Malaysian Muslim Consumers’ Association (PPIM) forum at Menara Felda here today.
The home minister said he was “colour-blind” when it came to tackling issues involving scams.
“Be it love scams, African scams or Macau scams, the victims are Malaysians from all walks of life,” he said.
Zahid said the government had extradited 416 foreigners suspected of involvement in scams, to their respective countries to face prosecution.
He later presented RM500,000 to PPIM to run its activities, and reminded the organisation to report to him on how the money was used.
“This is not for you to buy new clothes,” he said.
The Dewan Rakyat passed amendments to Poca on Aug 10.
However, the Malaysian Bar criticised the move, saying the amendments deprived a detainee of the basic right to be heard at the earliest possible instance, to know the allegations made against him, and to respond to them.
Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said the amendments made the act an insidious version of the repealed 1969 Emergency (Public Order and Crimes Prevention) Ordinance (EO) which was repealed in 2013.
The group also took to task deputy home minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed for claiming that Poca was not a draconian law and was unlike the now abolished Internal Security Act (ISA).