De­tained of­fi­cials linked to 38 firms

> Com­pa­nies used to se­cure multi-bil­lion ring­git con­tracts

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY CHARLES RAMENDRAN

KOTA KIN­A­BALU: Two se­nior of­fi­cials of the Sabah Water Depart­ment (SWD) who were ar­rested by the Malaysian An­tiCor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) on Tues­day for al­legedly tak­ing bribes amount­ing to over RM115.5 mil­lion have links to 38 com­pa­nies be­tween them which were used to se­cure multi-bil­lion ring­git work con­tracts.

The com­pa­nies which were ei­ther reg­is­tered un­der the names of the sib­lings or prox­ies of the SWD di­rec­tor and his deputy had ap­par­ently been granted build­ing con­tracts amount­ing to a whop­ping RM3.3 bil­lion since 2010.

MACC in­ves­ti­ga­tors dis­cov­ered that 17 com­pa­nies were linked to the 54-year-old di­rec­tor and the rest to his 51-year-old deputy.

Yes­ter­day, the MACC also seized seven safe de­posit boxes be­long­ing to the wives of the sus­pects from sev­eral banks here and un­cov­ered an­other RM3.3 mil­lion in cash and gems.

Sources said in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve the RM115.5m in cash, jew­ellery and other lux­ury mer­chan­dise seized from the sus­pects and their wives were just the tip of the ice­berg as the probe also showed that there were funds the duo had al­legedly trans­ferred to over­seas bank ac­counts.

The MACC, it is learnt, is at­tempt­ing to re­cover the funds and is seek­ing as­sis­tance from its coun­ter­parts in coun­tries the sus­pects had al­legedly parked their ill-got­ten gains. In­ves­ti­ga­tors are also yet to carry out an eval­u­a­tion on dozens of lux­ury watches and 127 plots of land owned by the sus­pects.

It is be­lieved that it is pos­si­ble that it would be dou­ble the cur­rent sum un­cov­ered.

A spe­cial task force com­pris­ing 70 officers formed to in­ves­ti­gate the case also dis­cov­ered yes­ter­day that 94 lux­ury hand­bags seized from the wife of a sus­pect were val­ued at RM500,000.

Apart from the di­rec­tor and his deputy, the MACC on Wed­nes­day also ar­rested a 55-year-old busi­ness­man who is a Datuk and a brother of the for­mer.

The Datuk’s 50-year-old ac­coun­tant who al­legedly man­aged the funds was also ar­rested.

Sources said the task force has recorded state­ments from six in­di­vid­u­als to date and has iden­ti­fied an­other 40 wit­nesses who will be called up to as­sist in the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Con­tacted yes­ter­day, MACC deputy chief com­mis­sioner (op­er­a­tions) Datuk Azam Baki con­firmed the lat­est find­ings by the spe­cial task force.

The Aus­tralians leav­ing the court af­ter pro­ceed­ings yes­ter­day.

Our front page re­port yes­ter­day.

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