Remember The Nasi Ganja Copter Case? The Suspect Will Finally Be Charged After 10 Months

The suspect is scheduled to be charged at the Ipoh Magistrate's Court next Monday, 9 May.

Cover image via Utusan Malaysia

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Back in July last year, a helicopter from Kuala Lumpur landed at Padang Ipoh to pick up 36 packets of 'nasi ganja' meals.

The incident went viral and an investigation was opened for a possible breach of an interstate travel ban that was in place at the time.

According to Perak police chief Datuk Mior Faridalathrash Wahid, while the Bell 505 helicopter — which was operated by Systematic Aviation Services (SAS) — had prior permission to land at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, it landed some 6km away at the Padang Ipoh, for which it did not have permission.

A month later in August 2020, Faridalathrash said that the investigation papers were sent to the Attorney-General's Chambers for further action after statements were taken from five individuals.

There was no further update about the case as days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months until last month when the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) questioned the lack of action

In a statement on 1 April 2022, EAIC chairman Sidek Hassan reminded authorities to quickly resolve "easy cases" like the nasi ganja helicopter one or risk seeing their credibility being eroded.

"Cases like that should be resolved easily. But there seem to be ongoing cases with no end in sight. And this will erode the enforcement agency's credibility and that of the government's," he said, adding that there was a need for closure for every investigation that was conducted by the authorities.

"Case closed is not the same as closure," he said, as reported by Free Malaysia Today.

After over a week, the Perak police chief said that the investigation was still ongoing.

According to Faridalathrash, police will ensure investigations will be completed as soon as possible and that they have submitted the papers to the deputy public prosecutor's office for a decision.

He said the papers were submitted several times but required further investigations.

"There are still some other things that need to be investigated. The case is not closed yet. We are now waiting for the next order. We hope to get a decision in the near future," The Star quoted him as saying.

Now, after almost a year, the suspect will finally be charged

Earlier this month, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Abd Jalil Hassan was reported as saying that police have submitted the investigation papers into the case and have received instructions from the state prosecution director's office to proceed with the charge.

Jalil said police were instructed to charge the suspect under Rule 77(2) of the Civil Aviation Regulations 2017 for failing to abide by the approved flight plan and landing at a location other than specified.

"If convicted, the suspect faces a fine of not more than RM50,000 or imprisonment of not more than three years or both," he said in a statement, as reported by Malaysiakini on 2 May.

The suspect is scheduled to be charged at the Ipoh Magistrate's Court next Monday, 9 May.

Police have not yet named the suspect.

According to a report in Free Malaysia Today, the owner of the helicopter is Mohamed Raffe Chekku. He is the managing director of the KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR).

Read more about the case when it happened last year:

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