MACC wrap­ping up ‘Ops Wa­ter’

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

KUALA LUMPUR: “Ops Wa­ter”, the big­gest graft bust in the coun­try by the Malaysian An­tiCor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) which started about two months ago, is in its fi­nal stages.

The bust saw al­most RM115 mil­lion seized from a top of­fi­cial of the Sabah Wa­ter Department (SWD) and oth­ers in­volved.

For over a month, an MACC team com­pris­ing 137 per­son­nel, had been check­ing 12 tonnes of files and doc­u­ments that in­cluded 8,000 pay­ment vouch­ers and in­voices is­sued by Sabah state gov­ern­ment de­part­ments be­tween 2008 and this year.

The doc­u­ments were re­cov­ered from 30 dis­tricts in Sabah in­clud­ing Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, San­dakan and La­had Datu.

MACC deputy chief com­mis­sioner Datuk Azam Baki said yes­ter­day state­ments were recorded from over 200 wit­nesses, with 28 peo­ple ar­rested.

They were the SWD direc­tor, two deputy di­rec­tors, 23 engi­neers and tech­ni­cians and two civil­ians.

He said the probe was in the fi­nal phase of in­ves­ti­ga­tions and the find­ings are ex­pected to be sub­mit­ted to the At­tor­ney­Gen­eral’s Cham­bers soon.

Dur­ing its probe, the com­mis­sion had seized RM52.2 mil­lion in cash, the big­gest haul in the his­tory of graft-bust­ing since MACC was formed 49 years ago.

The de­tained of­fi­cials had al­legedly re­ceived tens of mil­lions of ring­git in kick­backs from award­ing gov­ern­ment con­tracts for in­fra­struc­ture work worth RM3.3 bil­lion to their fam­ily mem­bers and prox­ies.

Both the SWD of­fi­cials were sus­pended from their po­si­tions. En­gi­neer Wilis@Mo­j­iron An­soi, 58, who was a deputy direc­tor at SWD, was ap­pointed as the department’s new direc­tor.

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