KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (NNN-Bernama) — A former Malaysian senior minister and a prominent businessman are being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in connection with alleged misappropriation of national funds worth more than RM2.3 billion (US$505.4 million).
According to a source, the investigation is a continuation and extension of the disclosure of confidential documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) regarding suspected transactions in several offshore financial centres.
“The focus of the investigation is in relation to the purchase and ownership of shares in a giant listed company which is said to have been orchestrated by the former senior minister.
“It is understood that this transaction of purchase and ownership of shares is believed to be the cause of the decline of the national economy and the fall of the ringgit currency in the late 1990 and has been distorted for the benefit of the individuals involved to be saved (bail out) from suffering further losses,” according to the source.
The source also said that the investigation focused on transactions from the sale of shares of the listed company, the ownership of valuable assets owned by the businessman and former senior minister and their family members, estimated to be worth billions of ringgit, both in the country and abroad.
“MACC has also recorded statements of about 14 witnesses in the past few weeks in relation to this investigation, including testimony from prominent businessmen and former senior minister about the confidential documents revealed by Pandora Papers,” the source said.
MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki, when contacted, confirmed that the investigation is focused on Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 regarding the offence of misuse of power to obtain bribes and the offence of money laundering under Section 4 (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.