‘MACC wrapping up probe swiftly’
With recent arrests, agency hopes for swift completion
THE graftbusters, who are investigating the purchase of two hotels in London and Kuching by Felda Investment Corporation, say they expect to bring things to a conclusion soon. So far, nine individuals have been arrested.
THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is wrapping up its probe into the purchase of two allegedly overpriced hotels by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC).
MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad said this after MACC arrested a lawyer and his aide, believed to be involved in one of the purchases, on Thursday.
“With all the arrests, we hope that we can wrap up the investigations swiftly,” he said after witnessing the signing of the corruption-free pledge by the Penang government. Dzulkifli was responding to questions on the progress of the FIC probe.
The duo were remanded yesterday to facilitate MACC’s probe into FIC’s purchase of a luxury hotel in Kensington, London, between 2013 and 2015, for a total of £60 million (RM330 million).
The hotel was allegedly purchased at a much higher price than the market value, causing FIC to lose millions of ringgit. FIC is the investment arm of Felda.
It is understood that the duo were detained about
4pm at the MACC headquarters after they were called in for questioning.
It was reported that the duo, who work at a Kuala Lumpur-based law firm, had been involved in managing the documentation of the sale and purchase agreement between the original owner and a third company before it was sold to FIC.
It is understood that the lawyer had links with the owner of the company that made the hotel’s sale and purchase transaction with FIC.
It was reported that the company, which purchased the hotel at a lower price, had sold it to FIC at above market price. The company reportedly earned £14 million from the transaction.
The remand order against former FIC chief executive officer Zaid Abdul Jalil, who was arrested on July 31 to assist in the probe, had been extended for another four days starting today.
Dzulkifli last Friday also ordered an investigation into the 2014 purchase of a hotel in Kuching.
The hotel, Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites, was bought by FIC for RM160 million, believed to be between RM40 million and RM50 million higher than its market value.
The probe was prompted after the investigation team uncovered information while scrutinising the purchase of the hotel in London.
Two days ago, Dzulkifli said the investigations into the two cases were carried out aggressively and involved the examination of seized documents and statements recorded from witnesses.
He said the investigation had taken time as the case involved overseas transactions.
Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad