PUTRAJAYA, June 13 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has recently arrested 17 people, including 11 customs officers and six directors, to help investigate a corruption case involving the leakage of an estimated RM3.5 billion in Port Klang, for the past 10 years.

According to a MACC source, among those arrested were a runner and his accomplice, while the investigation thus far has succeeded in seizing RM4.4 million in cash, believed to have been obtained through bribery by the customs officers involved.

“This does not include four Yamaha XMAX motorcycles worth RM28,000, an Alphard vehicle worth more than RM200,000, a used BMW car, jewellery, luxury watches and a plot of land, which were all bought in cash,” he said.

The source said that all these seizures are part of the corrupt activities which MACC has detected thus far.

At the same time, he said that a total of 12 companies and individual accounts had been frozen, with an estimated value of RM2 million.

MACC is also in the process of tracking down other accounts, believed to be used by the syndicate members, he said.

The source added that MACC, in collaboration with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, has also inspected all 19 seized containers.

“This syndicate has made false declarations, by declaring items such as wheelchairs, toilets, textiles and tax-free health equipment.

“However, the inspection found that all the containers contained various other items, including LED lights, solar panel boards, solar lights, motorcycle accessories, sport rims, vehicles, vehicle spare parts, clothes, Chinese tea and canned processed pork,” he said.

The total estimated value of the 19 containers, including taxes to be paid, is believed to reach millions of ringgit.

According to the source, this is one of MACC’s biggest successes in curbing the issue of corruption among law enforcement officers, and the issue of leakage of national revenue.

Meanwhile, MACC deputy chief commissioner (Operations) Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya, when contacted, confirmed the arrests to assist in the investigations under Section 17 (b), Section 16 (a) of the MACC Act 2009 and the Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Act Illegal Activities 2001 (AMLATFPUAA) 2001.

“The action of tracking down the main mastermind of the syndicate is actively carried out, through the cooperation of various foreign agencies,” he said.

On Monday, MACC chief commissioner, Tan Sri Azam Baki reportedly said that all states with ports in the country, including Sabah, are under the watchful eye of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), in the light of the ongoing container tax evasion case. — Bernama