Suspects remanded further
Published on: Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Two top officers of the Water Department and two others implicated in a RM3.3 billion scandal involving the department have been remanded for a further five to seven days.The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which is investigating the abuse of power involving infrastructure projects sought the remand extension after their initial remand order expired Tuesday.

Magistrate Jessica Ombou Kakayun granted a five-day extended remand for the Water Department Director and seven days for its Deputy Director, a businessman and an accountant.

Kakayun made the order following an application by Investigating Officer Mohd Faliq Basiruddin from MACC.

The four who were taken to the courthouse in four separate cars were brought before Kakayun in her chambers separately for the remand application.

When met outside the court, Faliq said he had applied for another seven days' remand for the four on the grounds that they are still looking for documents involved as well as investigating the overseas funds.

He also informed that he had objected the request by counsel for the four that they be released on MACC bail on the grounds that it is a high profile case and involved public interest.

Counsel P.J. Perira who represented the Director, said he had requested his client to be released on MACC bail saying that he is still holding his position as the department director. According to Pereira, if his client were released on bail, the MACC could keep his passport and blacklist him from going overseas.

Counsel Roland Cheng acted for the deputy director, counsel Datuk Chau Chin Tang for the businessman and counsel Peter Marajin for the accountant.

The two government officers, aged 54 and 51, are suspected of monopolising projects valued at more than RM3.3 billion under the purview of their department since 2010 by giving them to relatives.

They are believed to have amassed more than RM50 million in wealth.

The 55-year-old businessman with the title "Datuk" and his 50-year-old accountant, suspected to be linked to the two government officers, were also remanded for a week last Wednesday.

The case initially led to the biggest seizure in the history of MACC, with cash and kind seized being:

RM114.5 million, eight luxury cars (Range Rover, Audi, BMW, Ford Ranger, Mercedes Benz, Mazda, Lexus and Volvo all worth RM2.74 million), branded watches, 94 branded handbags estimated worth RM500,000, Jewellery amounting to RM3.64 million, foreign currencies worth RM8.3 million and seven safe deposit boxes containing RM3.3 million

The amount of cash confiscated was so huge that it took about 15 hours for 30 MACC officials to count it.

The scandal also led to many conspiracy theories and finger pointing, even attempts by political parties to link the duo to certain political parties and politicians.

MACC has so far recorded statements from 40 individuals including the four's family members, contractors, company owners and workers as well as the department staff.


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