MACC deputy admits 1MDB probe affected by police raids, arrests

Police van parked at Menara IMC, 1Malaysia Development Berhad's office, in Kuala Lumpur, July 8, 2015. — Picture by Ida Lim
Police van parked at Menara IMC, 1Malaysia Development Berhad's office, in Kuala Lumpur, July 8, 2015. — Picture by Ida Lim

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Mustafar Ali has admitted that the agency’s investigation on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy has been affected by action taken by the police against some of his officers.

In a statement, Mustafar reportedly revealed that in the latest raid last night on MACC’s special operations division office, the police seized several documents and laptops related to their probe.

“It has affected the investigation process a little because items like the laptops of our officers on duty have been taken by the police,” he said according to the statement sent late last night.

Mustafar also confirmed that two of the agency’s officers, who were among the three taken in for questioning earlier yesterday afternoon at the Putrajaya police district headquarters, have been arrested.

The duo’s office in Precinct 3, Putrajaya, and their homes were raided by the police, he said.

One of the two detained is an officer directly involved in the investigation on SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, the debt-laden state investment firm currently under probe for alleged impropriety.

“Documents and laptops were also taken by the police,” Mustafar added in the statement.

“We have always given our full cooperation to the police,” he added.

“In this matter, I would like to stress that MACC will carry out its duties and responsibilities professionally and with transparency.”

According to a July 2 report by the Wall Street Journal, which cited several leaked document from investigators probing 1MDB, one portion of the RM2.6 billion of funds it said were funnelled into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s accounts had been done so through SRC International.

MACC had on Monday issued a statement to confirm the existence of RM2.6 billion in Najib’s accounts and clarify that they had come from donors and not 1MDB as previously alleged.

The statement triggered a flurry of responses from activists and opposition lawmakers, who demanded that the commission investigate the donation for possible corruption and money-laundering.

The commission and Najib himself have also been urged to reveal the identities of the donors and the purpose of the funds.

It was previously alleged that the funds were used for Barisan Nasional’s Election 2013 campaigns but detractors have since pointed out that this would be illegal as RM2.6 billion far surpasses the legal limit allowed by Malaysia’s election laws.

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