MACC: DETAINED 10 RECEIVED KICKBACKS FROM ILLEGAL BAUXITE MINERS
Suspects said to be taking bribes from miners in violation of bauxite mining moratorium
NINE assistant enforcement officers from the state Land and Mines Office and a senior state Customs enforcement officer are alleged to be on the take from miners violating the moratorium against bauxite-mining in Pahang.
The nine state Land and Mines Office officers, aged between 29 and 59, had purportedly taken kickbacks from miners to turn a blind eye to their illegal activities.
The 56-year old Customs officer had allegedly received bribes to ignore freshly mined bauxite brought to Kuantan Port here to be exported overseas.
Their activities came undone, however, when they were picked up in a massive anti-graft swoop by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) between 12.15am and 3.45pm two days ago.
On Wednesday, the Customs officer was ordered to be remanded seven days by magistrate Tengku Eliana Tuan Kamaruzaman.
The nine state Land and Mines Office officers , clad in the orange MACC lock-up uniform and shielding their faces when they arrived at the Kuantan Courts Complex here, were ordered by Eliana to be remanded for seven days starting yesterday.
She issued the order after a hearing that lasted over 90 minutes from 10.30am.
This was revealed by MACC deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Fadhly Mohd Zamry after he attended the nine state Land and Mines Office officers’ remand proceedings yesterday.
He said that all 10 men were remanded to assist a probe into their alleged role in graft linked to facilitating bauxite-mining, which contravenes the moratorium imposed on Jan 15 last year.
He said the remand of the state Land and Mines Office officers ends on Aug 9.
They are being investigated under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act 2009.
Two days ago, MACC also raided the offices of state Land and Mines Office, the Customs and Excise Department and Kuantan Port Authority to seize documents related to the purported illegal bauxite mining activities.
MACC had confiscated 18 lorries transporting bauxite from illegal mines around Bukit Goh and Bukit Sagu on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, when met at the Corruption-Free Pledge at Pengurusan Air Pahang Bhd (PAIP) here yesterday, state MACC director Datuk Alias Salim said many Pahang government departments and agencies had yet to sign the pledge.
He said the state Land and Mines Office was among the departments that had yet to sign the pledge, which was also an initiative by MACC to curb graft.
He added that police, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and People’s Volunteer Corps were among the signatories of the pledge in Pahang.
“At the moment, we are discussing with several departments and agencies, especially their enforcement arms, to implement the pledge soon.”
Present were PAIP chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zahari Md Isa and deputy Pahang MACC director Jamaluddin Puteh.
Meanwhile, last night, the commission said it had raided seven locations here as part of its probe into illegal bauxite mining in the state.
Among the locations were offices at Kuantan Port, Customs Department and several companies.
Documents, including Customs related forms, bank statements, export documentation and laptops were seized.
MACC also raided houses of those arrested and seized documents critical to the probe.
“Until today, the statements from 18 witnesses have been taken.
“They include drivers of lorries transporting illegally-mined bauxite, a manager, a company supervisor and a company secretary.”
MACC Intelligence Division director Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahya confirmed the matter, saying that the commission was taking further action with regard to the case.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission enforcement officers escorting the suspects at the Kuantan Courts Complex yesterday.