Wednesday, August 17

MACC seizes RM112 mln from two govt officers, associates

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KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) has made one of their biggest cash seizures in history following the arrest of two senior government officials here on Tuesday.

About RM112 million in cash was seized from four individuals, namely a 54-year-old director and his 51-year-old deputy, the deputy director’s 55-year-old businessman brother with a Datuk title, and his 50-year-old accountant.

The director and deputy director were arrested at their office on October 4 while the businessman and the accountant were picked up by MACC the following day on October 5.

MACC deputy commissioner of operations Datuk Azam Baki said about RM52 million in cash was seized from the office and houses of the director and deputy director during a 15-hour raid beginning on Tuesday.

“MACC seized about RM45 million from the director while RM7.2 million from the deputy director.

“We have also seized cash from the officers’ bank accounts and family members which amounted to RM23 million.

“The following day, MACC again seized about RM37 million from a company that we believe is connected with one of the suspects,” he told a packed press conference at the MACC office here yesterday.

Also present were MACC operational director Datuk Sri Yahaya Ahmad Khusairi and Special Operations Division director Datuk Hishamuddin Hashim.

Commenting on the case, Azam said the raids were made following a year of surveillance of the officers’ activities after they received complaints of corrupt practice within the department.

“Investigation shows both officers were involved in numerous infrastructure construction projects worth RM3.3 billion since 2010.

“It is also believed that both officers have been involved in corruption and abuse of their power and position in the department, living a lifestyle of luxury,” he said.

Apart from the seized cash, MACC has also frozen the accounts of the four individuals and seized nine luxury vehicles, 94 high-end handbags, jewellery, luxury watches, and RM8.3 million worth of foreign currencies.

The luxury vehicles seized were a Range Rover, Audi, Ford Ranger, Mercedes Benz, Mazda, Lexus, Volvo and two BMWs.

Meanwhile, Azam said MACC also believed more monies were kept in several foreign bank accounts, but declined to comment further pending  investigation.

He also said MACC had identified several individuals who were believed involved in the case and would call them for their statements to be recorded.

On October 5, four people including two senior government officers were remanded for a week to facilitate investigations into corruption involving RM3.3 billion worth of federal projects.

The arrests were made following one year of surveillance of the suspects’ activities following public complaints claiming corrupt practice.

The case would be investigated under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act, Section 165 of the Penal Code and for money laundering, he said.