MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Why police probes must be meticulous, secretive


From G Selva

The allegations that some nightclubs are involved in illegal narcotic activities should not have been made public until the authorities had been given a chance to investigate.

I believe the manner in which this information was disseminated to the relevant authorities lacked professionalism as everyone – right from the man in the street to the possible suspects – would have also taken note.

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Syndicated criminal activities, such as trafficking in firearms and narcotics, are very serious offences.

The penalty for these crimes is capital punishment. Criminal minds involved in such serious crimes are very alert to any investigation and have a network that constantly watches the relevant authorities.

They have layers of informers to keep tabs on all the enforcement agencies that are responsible for investigations. Some of these informers are speculated to be rogue cops.

Information givers must be totally discreet if they want effective enforcement to be taken.

It has always been extremely difficult to penetrate the higher hierarchies of dangerous criminal syndicates dealing with firearms and narcotics.

It takes diligence, and meticulous and extremely discreet investigations, coupled with very experienced investigators, to identify those involved, their modus operandi and their network.

Secrecy is the key and must be maintained within a tight loop of the assigned investigators. Combining both overt and covert operations in gathering intelligence and collecting enough admissible evidence is the objective. It is usually carried out over a long period of time in which surveillance plays an integral role.

This process of investigation is usually set in motion long before any allegations are made public. It will ensure the perpetrators are not forewarned because witnesses and evidence can go missing or deteriorate in evidential value. The criminal mind once alerted will go to great lengths to subvert any investigative action, including by penetrating the investigative loop, and can even resort to deadly force.

Dependence on preventive laws is again not the answer as they pale in comparison with the heavy penalties enshrined in the penal code and other laws, apart from being opaque.

The fact that some recent legal decisions by the judiciary were unfavourable to the use of preventive laws should act as a catalyst to investigators to focus on admissible evidence so as to ensure that these criminal offenders are brought to open court and dealt with by the criminal justice system.

The “need to know basis” and an experienced stealth approach will always bear more evidential results, which in turn will ensure that enforcement and prosecution will be effective in crippling illegal activities for good. - FMT

G Selva is a reader of FMT.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

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