FIC issue: MACC to call key person next week

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will call by next week, a key individual in connection with the purchase of a hotel in London and another in Kuching, Sarawak by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC).

Its deputy chief commissioner (Operations), Datuk Mohd Azam Baki who said this, however, declined to reveal the identity of the individual.

Met after appearing as a guest of Bernama News Channel's Ruang Bicara programme at Wisma Bernama, here, last night, Azam said so far, nine individuals had been detained and more than 30 witnesses called in connection with the purchase of the two hotels.

"With regard to the hotel purchase in London, the investigating officer will record statements from witnesses who include lawyers and bank officers," he said.

Asked whether the MACC would investigate the purchase of other hotels by FIC, Azam said so far, the commission was only investigating the hotel purchases in London and Kuching.

"If there are others, we will see whether there are elements of corruption or abuse of power in these purchases," he said.

The MACC has opened an investigation paper on the purchase dealing involving a four-star hotel in Kensington, London between 2013 and 2015 by FIC, which was paid for at a much higher price than the original price, causing the Felda subsidiary company to lose millions of ringgit.

FIC had reportedly bought the hotel at STG60 million (RM330 million) on Dec 16, 2014.

The MACC then commenced an investigation into the purchase of a hotel in Kuching following information received by the investigating team while probing the purchase of the hotel in London by FIC.

Today, three individuals were believed giving their statements on the purchase of the hotel in Kensington by FIC at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.

According to a source in the MACC, one of the three, formerly a member of the FIC board of directors, already came to the MACC headquarters yesterday to assist in the investigation.

The other two are the director of a division in Felda and the legal partner of a lawyer who had earlier been remanded over the handling of the documentation process in the sale and purchase of the hotel between its original owner and a third party (company) before it was sold to FIC, said the source.

The three had come to the MACC headquarters separately between 10am and 11.30am. — Bernama