MACC SEIZ­ING MIL­LIONS OF TONNES OF BAUX­ITE STOCK­PILES

New Straits Times - - Front Page -

KUANTAN: The Malaysian An­ti­Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) is mov­ing to seize all baux­ite stock­piles, to­talling more than 10 mil­lion tonnes, in Pa­hang.

The mass seizure came af­ter MACC’s lat­est crack­down on il­le­gal baux­ite min­ing in the state, which saw the ar­rests of a se­nior Cus­toms en­force­ment of­fi­cer, 10 state Land and Mines Of­fice (PTG) en­force­ment of­fi­cers and a PTG gen­eral as­sis­tant.

Until yes­ter­day, six PTG of­fi­cers have been re­leased on MACC bail, while the oth­ers are un­der re­mand to fa­cil­i­tate a probe into an al­leged graft case that was said to be shield­ing min­ers from law en­force­ment in un­law­ful baux­ite min­ing.

MACC is seek­ing to pre­vent the lu­cra­tive min­eral from be­ing re­moved and traded, or for other pur­poses.

MACC deputy chief com­mis­sioner (op­er­a­tions) Datuk Azam Baki yes­ter­day said con­fis­ca­tion would be done un­der Sec­tion 33 of the MACC Act 2009.

He warned any party against vi­o­lat­ing the seizure no­tice, which would lead to pun­ish­ment un­der Sec­tion 69 of the same act.

“Ac­tion to seize baux­ite will en­com­pass the en­tirety of stock­pile on govern­ment and pri­vate land iden­ti­fied in the state.

“It is es­ti­mated that more than 10 mil­lion met­ric tonnes of baux­ite have been mined and stored in stock­piles in sev­eral lo­ca­tions in Pa­hang,” Azam said.

He said MACC had be­gun dis­cus­sions with the Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry and sug­gested that the min­istry re­view the is­suance of ap­proved per­mits (AP) to baux­ite min­ers and can­cel all AP pre­vi­ously is­sued.

“The seizure is nec­es­sary to help MACC carry out in­ves­ti­ga­tions into il­le­gal baux­ite min­ing. MACC will also mon­i­tor all baux­ite ex­ports at the Kuantan Port.”

FILE PIC

The Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion is seek­ing to pre­vent baux­ite from be­ing mined and traded.

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