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THE allegations that some nightclubs are involved in illegal narcotic activities should not, given a choice of course, be made public until the authorities are given a chance to investigate.
I am of the opinion that the manner this information was disseminated to the relevant authorities was quite unprofessional as everyone, right from the man on the street to the possible suspects, would have also taken note.
Syndicated criminal activities, such as the trafficking in of firearms and narcotics, are very serious offences. Penalties for these crimes, as it stands now, carry the capital punishment. The criminal minds involved in such serious crimes are very alert to any investigative encroachment and have sensitive feelers throughout their network for the relevant authorities.
They have layers of informers to keep tabs on all the enforcement agencies that are responsible for the relevant investigations and some of these informers are speculated to be rogue policemen. Informants must be totally discreet if they want effective enforcement.
It has always been extremely difficult to penetrate the higher hierarchy of these dangerous criminals dealing with firearms and narcotics.
It takes diligence, meticulousness and extremely discreet investigations, coupled with very experienced investigators to identify those involved, their modus operandi and the network. Secrecy is the key and must crucially 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 usually is carried out over a long period of time, and here, surveillance plays an integral role.
These tools of investigations are 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 penetrating the investigative loop and resorting to deadly force.
Dependence on preventive laws is again not the answer as it pales in comparison to the heavy penalties enshrined in the penal code and the respective Acts.
The fact that some recent legal decisions by the judiciary were unfavourable to the preventive laws should act as a catalyst to investigators to focus on admissible evidence, so as to ensure these offenders are brought to 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 stamping out such illegal activities for good. – June 29, 2022.
* G. Selva reads The Malaysian Insight.