These two are only tips of the iceberg...and that iceberg could be fatal to our nation!
A NATION BETRAYED....
KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) personnel implicated in the F5 jet components for sale racket betrayed the country for as little as RM200.
Sources familiar with investigations into the F5 fighter engine theft from the Sungei Besi air base told The Malay Mail yesterday that those who allegedly took the RM200 were mainly assigned guard duty there.
These guards were allegedly bribed to "look the other way" when the key figure of the racket, a local man who worked for a Malaysian aviation firm, drove out with the stolen components.
Other RMAF personnel who were involved in the racket were technicians who stole items stored at the air base warehouse, where aircraft components and parts are stored.
They were allegedly paid as much as RM3,500 per component. It is learnt that the RMAF personnel involved were probably not aware of the value of the pilfered components in the international arms market.
Some of the components were fuel and hydraulic parts, besides mechanical parts of the Northrop F-5 fighter plane.
It is believed these servicemen managed to cover up the disappearance of the components by documenting the items as having been sent overseas for repair or disposed off as they were deemed irrepairable.
The syndicate also managed to export some of the pilfered components to a neighbouring country by declaring them as scrap metal.
There, the items were allegedly sold to international arms dealers always on the lookout for military jet components.
The key figure in the racket had also allegedly entertained "his cohorts" at nightclubs. It is believed that this personal touch led to the "arrangement" for the disappearance of two J85-GE-21 jet engines that were supposed to be sent for overhaul to another local aviation company.
The syndicate, it is alleged, even managed to change the shipping documentation on one of the engines to be sent to a neighbouring country where it was later re-shipped, reportedly to a South American firm.
Investigations into the case so far revealed that the local company that employed the key figure in the racket was not aware of this "part-time business".
The company has a Direct Procurement Agreement (DPA) with the Defence Ministry. Investigations into the racket started in early 2008 when RMAF officers lodged a police report after it was discovered that one of the F5 jet engines was missing in late 2007.
An internal audit instigated by RMAF top-brass discovered that another engine was also missing in mid-2008. The audit revealed a number of aircraft components unaccounted for.
So far, some 40 RMAF personnel at the air base have been hauled up for questioning, with at least four arrested by the police. Some of them were sacked from service after an inquiry and disciplinary hearing, and some were reinstated following appeals.
RMAF operates seven Northrop F5 jets; three single-seat F-5E Tiger II Interceptor aircraft, two single-seat RF-5E Tigereye Reconnaisance aircraft and two twin-seater F-5F Trainers.
Normally, a single Tiger II jet is used to escort the Tigereye during reconnaisance missions while the twin-seaters are used to train new pilots.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said the ministry would extend full cooperation to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) to resolve the case of the missing two jet engines and other related equipment.
"The details we have will be used as evidence in court... I am just waiting for the signal from them (AGC)," he said, adding that there was no need for a royal commission to be set up as the ministry was confident of the capability of the police in investigating the matter.