Com­mis­sion ‘is em­pow­ered to keep seized items un­der MACC Act’

New Straits Times - - Front Page - HIDIR REDUAN AND ARFA YUNUS KUANTAN news@nst.com.my

THE 10 mil­lion tonnes of baux­ite stock­pile seized by the Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) can be held up to 18 months.

MACC deputy chief com­mis­sioner (op­er­a­tions) Datuk Azam Baki said the com­mis­sion was em­pow­ered to keep seized items as per Sec­tion 41(1) of the MACC Act 2009.

The sec­tion states that the pub­lic prose­cu­tor may ap­ply to the Ses­sions Court for an or­der to forfeit the seized prop­erty if no pros­e­cu­tion or con­vic­tion in court hap­pens within 18 months from the date of the seizure.

Azam was com­ment­ing on the con­fis­ca­tion of baux­ite stock­piles through­out Pa­hang to fa­cil­i­tate a graft probe linked to il­le­gal min­ing of the min­eral.

In a state­ment is­sued on Satur­day, Azam said the seizure was to pre­vent baux­ite from be­ing moved out­side their ar­eas to be sold.

The Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry said yes­ter­day it would not en­ter­tain any ap­peals or re­quests to in­ter­fere with MACC’s probe.

Its min­is­ter, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Ju­naidi Tuanku Jaa­far, said the min­istry fully sup­ported MACC’s ac­tions in seiz­ing the baux­ite stock­piles.

This, he said, was for MACC to fur­ther fa­cil­i­tate its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the il­le­gal baux­ite min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Pa­hang.

“The mora­to­rium was im­posed by the govern­ment to sort out sev­eral en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues as well as to com­pletely clear the ex­ist­ing stock­piles of baux­ite.

“The in­struc­tion to clear the ex­ist­ing stock­piles was not ad­hered to by the own­ers and op­er­a­tors of the com­pa­nies who had been granted the spe­cial ex­port per­mits.

“This is de­spite nu­mer­ous re­minders by the min­istry via of­fi­cial con­tact and through the press to clear their stock­piles as soon as pos­si­ble by ex­port­ing them,” he said.

Mean­while, Pa­hang Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Ad­nan Yaakob said the state govern­ment and its agen­cies must ac­cept MACC’s de­ci­sion in seiz­ing baux­ite stock­piles.

“MACC has its rea­sons (for con­fis­cat­ing baux­ite stock­piles).

“They have re­ceived in­for­ma­tion and they de­cided to solve the prob­lem us­ing this method

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Ju­naidi Tuanku Jaa­far

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