D RM52m cash IZE SE
KOTA KINABALU: In the biggest haul ever made in the history of graft-busting in Malaysia, a whopping RM52.2 million in cold hard cash was seized yesterday by the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) following the arrests of two senior officials of the Sabah Water Department (SWD) on Tuesday.
The money is believed to be kickbacks from RM3.3 billion worth of work contracts they allegedly awarded to siblings since 2010.
Stacks of banknotes that were packed and boxed were seized from the office, homes and bank safe deposit boxes of a 54-year-old SWD director and his 51- year- old deputy.
It is learnt that the bulk of the cash, amounting to about RM45 million was found in the director’s possession while the rest was kept by his deputy.
The cash is believed to be part of RM112 million the duo and their siblings allegedly amassed via illegal means.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said yesterday both men were arrested in separate operations in Sabah on Tuesday.
He said they also seized 127 land titles and nine vehicles comprising two BMWs, a Range Rover, Audi, Ford Ranger, Mercedes Benz, Mazda, Lexus and a Volvo.
MACC also froze RM23 million found in the bank accounts of the suspects and their family members.
Luxury merchandise such as branded watches, 94 designer handbags and jewellery belonging to the wives of the suspects were also seized.
Azam said in a follow-up operation yesterday, MACC arrested a 55-year-old businessman who is a Datuk and a brother of the detained SWD deputy director.
He said a 50-year-old accountant employed by the suspects allegedly to manage their ill-gotten funds was also arrested.
In addition, MACC also froze about RM37 million found in a company account which is linked to one of the arrested SWD officials.
He added that more bank safe deposit boxes leased by the suspects will be inspect by MACC soon.
“In the 49-year history of this agency, we have never seized and frozen this amount of money from any individual, particularly one involving a civil servant.
“The detained SWD officials had monopolised the tenders and awarded the contracts for the construction of basic infrastructure worth RM3.3 billion to their siblings since 2010.
“They have not only flouted the law but deprived other contractors of a living by keeping them out of the tender process.”
Azam said all four suspects are being held for investigations under a seven-day remand order granted by magistrate Stephanie Sherron Abbie.
It is learnt the RM3.3 billion were funds disbursed to SWD by the federal government.
Azam also said investigations revealed the suspects had moved an undisclosed amount of their illicit funds to a neighbouring country.
Azam (second from left) and other MACC officers with part of the cash and other items seized from the suspects.