RM52m cash seized

06 Oct 2016 / 09:20 H.

KOTA KINABALU: In the biggest haul ever made in the history of graft-busting in Malaysia, a whopping RM52.2 million in cold hard cash was seized today by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) following the arrests of two senior officials of the Sabah Water Department (SWD) yesterday.
The money is believed to be kickbacks from RM3.3 billion worth of work contracts they allegedly awarded to siblings since 2010.
Stacks of banknotes that were packed and boxed were seized from the office, homes and bank safe deposit boxes of a 54-year-old SWD director and his 51-year-old deputy.
It is learnt that the bulk of the cash, amounting to about RM45 million was found in the director’s possession while the rest was kept by his deputy.
The cash is believed to be part of RM112 million the duo and their siblings alleged amassed via illegal means.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said today both men were arrested in separate operations in Sabah yesterday.
He said in the raids on the duo, 127 titles to plots of land were also seized together with nine luxury cars comprising two BMWs, a Range Rover, an Audi, a Ford Ranger, a Mercedes Benz, a Mazda, a Lexus and a Volvo.
He said MACC also froze RM23 million found in the bank accounts of the suspects and their family members.
Meanwhile, luxurious merchandise such as branded watches, 94 designer handbags and jewellery belonging to the wives of the suspects were also seized for investigations by the raiding party.
Azam said in a follow-up operation yesterday, the MACC arrested a 55-year-old businessman who is a Datuk and a brother of the detained SWD deputy director.
He said a 50-year-old accountant employed by the suspects allegedly to manage their ill-gotten funds was also arrested.
Azam said with the arrest of the two men, MACC also froze about RM37 million found in a company account which is linked to a SWD official.
He added that more bank safe deposit boxes leased by the suspects will be inspect by MACC in the coming days.
“In the 49-year history of this anti-corruption agency, we have never seized and frozen this amount of money from any individual, particularly one involving a civil servant.
“The detained SWD officials had monopolised the tenders and awarded the contracts for the construction of basic infrastructure worth RM3.3 billion to their siblings since 2010.
“They have not only flouted the law but deprived other contractors of a living by keeping them out of the tender bidding of the SWD.” he added.
Azam said all four suspects are being held for investigations under a seven-day remand order signed by magistrate Stephanie Sherron Abbie.
It is learnt that the RM3.3 billion were funds disbursed to the SWD by the federal government.


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