MACC PROBES MONEY-LAUN­DER­ING EL­E­MENT IN JO­HOR EXCO MAN’S CASE

Op Sky­line to look into money laun­der­ing

New Straits Times - - Front Page -

CHUAH BEE KIM

JO­HOR BARU

news@nst.com.my

THE Malaysian An­ti­Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) has sent a team to look into money-laun­der­ing in a real es­tate cor­rup­tion scan­dal in the state.

The op­er­a­tion, co­de­named Op Sky­line, had be­gun be­fore the ar­rest of state ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil mem­ber Datuk Abd Latif Bandi on Thurs­day.

A source told New Straits

Times that a team from MACC’s Anti-Money Laun­der­ing Act (Amla) in­ves­ti­ga­tion branch ar­rived here last week and had been mak­ing progress on the case. “It is likely that a few more peo­ple could be hauled up soon to help with in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” said the source.

He did not deny the pos­si­bil­ity that an­other high-rank­ing in­di­vid­ual could be de­tained later to help in the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Yes­ter­day, MACC ob­tained a seven-day re­mand or­der against Latif to con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der Sec­tion 17(a) of the MACC Act and Sec­tion 4 of the An­tiMoney Laun­der­ing, Anti -Ter­ror­ism Fi­nanc­ing and Pro­ceeds of Un­law­ful Ac­tiv­i­ties Act 2001.

Any­one found guilty of an of­fence un­der the first sec­tion is li­able to a max­i­mum jail term of 20 years or a fine of five times the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher upon con­vic­tion. Those guilty of an of­fence un­der the sec­ond sec­tion are li­able to a max­i­mum jail sen­tence of 15 years, and a max­i­mum fine of RM5 mil­lion or five times the amount, whichever is higher, upon con­vic­tion.

Jo­hor Baru High Court se­nior as­sis­tant reg­is­trar Nur Sule­han Ab­dul Rah­man granted MACC deputy public pros­e­cu­tor Khazrin Haf­fiz Khalil’s ap­pli­ca­tion for a re­mand or­der, which ends on Thurs­day.

Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Khaled Nordin said MACC should be given the space to con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“The state gov­ern­ment wishes to stress that we will give our full co­op­er­a­tion and will not in­ter­fere in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion process. The state gov­ern­ment’s stand is that it is im­por­tant for the due process of law to take place in a smooth man­ner,” he said, adding that he wanted the state ad­min­is­tra­tion to be free of cor­rup­tion and mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion.

Seven in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing Latif ’s son and spe­cial of­fi­cer, were de­tained by MACC be­gin­ning on Feb 24 to fa­cil­i­tate in­ves­ti­ga­tions into a real es­tate cor­rup­tion scan­dal.

The MACC froze RM15.5 mil­lion de­posited in 45 bank ac­counts and seized 21 lux­ury cars, five high-pow­ered mo­tor­cy­cles and RM500,000 in ring­git and for­eign cur­ren­cies.

On March 1, the state ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil ap­proved Latif’s re­quest to take leave for an un­de­ter­mined pe­riod of time.

MACC raided his home and seized 150 branded hand­bags, RM41,000 and a lux­ury ve­hi­cle.

PIC BY MOHD AZREN JA­MALUDIN

Datuk Abd Latif Bandi (dressed in an orange T-shirt) ar­riv­ing at the High Court in Jo­hor Baru yes­ter­day.

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