KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said today it has frozen 41 bank accounts linked to Aman Palestin and several other companies following the investigation into the alleged misappropriation of RM70 million by the charity organisation.

The MACC also said it has raided Aman Palestin's premises to acquire documentation regarding the organisation's financial activities and operations spanning the last five years.

“The MACC has frozen as many as 41 bank accounts of the charity organisation and several other company entities with a total of RM15,868,762.00, yesterday,” it said in a statement here.

The anti-corruption commission said it also gathered statements from key witnesses as part of its ongoing investigation.

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“The preliminary investigation has identified several issues involving the embezzlement of funds estimated to amount to RM70 million which were channelled for purposes other than the objective of establishing the company in question,” it said.

MACC said its investigation is ongoing and is being held under the MACC Act 2009, the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla), and the Penal Code.

On November 7, its chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said that MACC forensic officers were still looking into the documentation obtained from Aman Palestin, especially records from 2020 to 2022.

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Azam said there has not been an official complaint but MACC initiated the investigation as the case involves public funds and is of significant public interest.

Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin through a letter dated August 24 had instructed the Perlis State Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JAIPs) not to permit the collection of funds by Aman Palestin in places of worship and relevant religious premises within the state.

Subsequently, the state religious authority suspended fund collections by Aman Palestin in Perlis effective October 12, pending the completion of a probe.

Formed in 2004, the Bangi-based Aman Palestin's website said it was formed to collect donations and channel them to those affected by conflicts in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.

Its executive director is Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman, formerly the president of the controversial Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma). Another director, Zaini Awang, is also an Isma leader while its adviser Zainur Rashid is currently Isma's vice-president.

Its chief executive is Awang Suffian Awang Piut.