Vietnamese ‘Datuk’ remanded seven days

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 16 — A Vietnamese woman with the honorific title ‘Datuk’ was remanded for seven days, beginning today, to facilitate investigations into offering a RM890,000 bribe to Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officers.

The remand order was issued by Magistrate Ainna Sherina Saipolamin after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) filed an application at the Magistrate’s Court here today.

The 41-year-old woman arrived in court about 9.40am, wearing the MACC’s orange lock-up attire and handcuffed.

The woman was arrested at 12.10pm yesterday at the MACC office in Kuantan, Pahang, after she was called in for questioning.

According to an MACC source, the suspect was believed to have given bribes amounting to RM890,000, via five transactions this year to MMEA officers, in return for releasing Vietnamese fishing boats detained by the agency in Malaysian waters for several offences.

The source said investigations were also underway to identify the owners of the boats which had been released, as well as possession of fraudulent boat registration numbers.

The MACC also wants to identify the relationship between public witnesses and government agents who allegedly conspired with the woman.

The case is investigated under Section 16 (b) of the MACC Act 2009.

On Nov 10, the woman was charged at the Kuantan Sessions Court on charges of offering bribes amounting to RM800,000, to two MMEA officers.

The suspect, who has lived in Malaysia for 17 years and speaks fluent Malay, pleaded not guilty.

Under the charge, she was alleged to have offered bribes in cash to an MACC officer who posed as ‘middleman’, to be handed over to the MMEA officers involved, at 9.40am on Nov 5.

The offence was allegedly committed at a hotel in Kuantan, as inducement to release nine Vietnamese fishing boats seized under the Fisheries Act 1985. — Bernama

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