Ministry’s division secretary detained over alleged RM20 million misappropriation

PUTRAJAYA: A ministry division secretary was detained yesterday on suspicion of masterminding a syndicate to misappropriate government funds and accepting bribes amounting to some RM20 million.

The senior officer were among nine individuals, including a woman, who were arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) during the Ops Tiris yesterday.

MACC’s director of investigations Datuk Azam Baki said the syndicate was believed to have been active for the past five years causing the government a loss of over RM100 million.

“The syndicate is believed to have been active since 2010. In its modus operandi, the suspect would instruct the finance agency division at the ministry to make payments to 14 companies for organisation of sports-related programmes.

“No payment claims were submitted to the finance agency by the companies which were actually operated by the syndicate’s members but the senior officer’s role was to ensure that payments were made to the companies,” he told a media conference here Saturday.

He added that the suspect was found to have received kickbacks in the form of cash and facilities such as two houses, 12 luxury cars, 40 branded handbags, paid insurance, credit cards and unit trust shares worth millions.

The syndicate members, aged between 28 to 56 years, were remanded for seven days beginning Friday.

The investigation was conducted in accordance with section 17 (a) of the MACC Act 2009 and money laundering offenses under the Prevention of Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism and the Unlawful Activities Act, 2001.