JOHOR BARU, Feb 26 — At 25, Ahmad Fauzan Hatim Abd Latif led a lavish lifestyle.
He owned a Nissan Skyline R35, Porsche Cayenne, a Mercedes-Benz CLA 200, loved motorsports and often travelled to Europe for holidays.
However, the eldest son of Johor Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Abd Latif Bandi was among five individuals nabbed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Friday over allegations of graft.
Also nabbed were Abd Latif’s special officer Muhammad Idzuan Jamalludin, also in his 20s, a lawyer, two businessmen and another individual.
More civil servants, including ranking officers, were expected to be picked up soon.
Investigations by the anti-graft body revealed Ahmad Fauzan and Idzuan were allegedly in cahoots with civil servants from the Johor Land Office and other government departments in lowering the premium of land which had been approved for housing and industrial projects, as well as in converting the titles of various premises in the state.
This had resulted the state government losing millions of ringgit.
Investigators had been monitoring the suspects for close to six months but those within the political circle were already talking about their supposed exploits.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki, in a statement yesterday, said the six were arrested at various locations in simultaneous raids which began at 8.30am.
Among the items seized from the six suspects were 21 vehicles including a blue Bentley, a black Mercedes Benz G-Class, orange Range Rover and five motorcycles including a Harley Davidson and a BMW.
Some RM500,000 in various currencies were seized while 45 bank accounts belonging to the six, with RM15.5 million in the accounts, frozen.
It was understood MACC met Abd Latif, who was also Endau state assemblyman and Umno Mersing deputy chief, prior to arresting his son and special officer.
“Investigators recorded his statement as they wanted to clarify several things.”
Sources said Ahmad Fauzan, who tied the knot in October last year, and Idzuan were “well known” among state government officers and Johor Umno members.
A source said: “They were friendly and were always willing to help those who had land or housing woes. Basically, they could fix these problems as they enjoyed close ties with officers in the state housing and local government’s office.”
Idzuan was attached to Abd Latif’s office after the 2013 general election and was a familiar face at state government functions.
Another source said the suspects were bound to attract attention as the Bentley, in special baby-blue hue and the RM900,000 Mercedes-Benz G-Class were a rare sight in the state.
Those in the political circle said the arrests were “not surprising” as there was talk the suspects were under the MACC’s radar since last year.
“It was also a talking point during the Johor Umno convention in November,” the source added.
Johor Baru Magistrate’s Court assistant registrar, Noor Hidayah Abdul Manaf yesterday allowed the six suspects to be remanded for seven days to assist in investigations.