Wednesday, December 8

Money laundering suspect escapes with bodyguards’ help


PUTRAJAYA: The main suspect in the money laundering syndicate linked to businesses involving the country’s celebrities escaped from police custody by climbing over the fence at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters Sunday with the help of his two personal bodyguards upon being released.

The suspect allegedly got out of the Toyota Vellfire vehicle he was riding in after being released on bail and handed over by the MACC to his lawyer, between the lobby of the MACC headquarters and the main gate.

He then fled by climbing over the fence at the back of the building in the Sunday afternoon incident.

About half an hour earlier, the suspect, who is in his 30’s, and eight others were taken back to the MACC headquarters here for bail documentation after they were released from remand for an investigation related to money laundering.

According to sources, there was a commotion at the main lobby when all the detainees including the suspect refused to get out of the MACC vehicle due to the presence of many policemen there.

After a discussion between the MACC, police and lawyers for the detainees, police agreed to wait at the main entrance outside the MACC headquarters, the source told Bernama yesterday. Upon completion of the documentation process, all the detainees were released and picked up by four Toyota Vellfire vehicles.

According to the source, the suspect was riding in one of the Toyota Vellfire vehicles with his lawyer, bodyguards and driver, and he was believed to have gotten out of the vehicle when it was between the lobby door and main gate, to escape.

“The suspect was assisted by two bodyguards who were ready to help him climb over the fence to escape police arrest,” said the source.

The source said a closed-circuit television (CCTV) check showed the suspect climbing over the fence with the help of two bodyguards with a Perodua Myvi car waiting by the roadside to drive him away.

On Tuesday, the media reported that police were hunting for the main suspect in a money laundering syndicate and said to be a ‘Datuk Seri’ who fled after being released by the MACC.

However, according to sources, the individual who fled was not a ‘Datuk Seri’ as reported.

Meanwhile, the three Toyota Vellfire vehicles carrying the eight other detainees were detained by police while passing through the main gate of the MACC headquarters, during which police were made aware of the disappearance of the main suspect.

On Oct 8, MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said his department had tracked down hundreds of dummy companies used as a front for illegal activities in connection with a money laundering syndicate linked to businesses involving celebrities.

The MACC had also reportedly seized 23 luxury vehicles of various types including Mustang, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari and Porsche as well as several high-powered motorcycles owned by members of the syndicate. — Bernama