The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has initiated several investigations into a Tan Sri businessman and a former senior minister regarding the alleged misappropriation of state funds exceeding RM2.3 billion.
Under the provisions of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, these investigation papers have been opened.
Sources informed Utusan Malaysia that these investigations are an extension of the revelations made by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) regarding suspicious transactions conducted in various offshore financial centers.
The focus of the investigation, as per the sources, revolves around the acquisition and ownership of shares in a listed company by a state-owned conglomerate, allegedly orchestrated by the former senior minister.
It is believed that these share transactions and ownership arrangements may have contributed to the economic downturn and depreciation of the Malaysian currency in the late 1990s, as well as being manipulated to protect the individuals involved from suffering more significant losses.
The investigation also encompasses transactions involving the sale of shares in the aforementioned listed company.
Furthermore, the MACC is examining the ownership of valuable assets, estimated to be worth billions of ringgit, which have been identified by the commission. These assets are held by the businessperson, the former senior minister, and their respective family members, both within and outside the country.
The MACC has also obtained statements from approximately 14 witnesses in recent weeks, including testimonies from the businessperson and the former senior minister, in relation to the confidential documents disclosed in the Pandora Papers.
Tan Sri Azam Baki, the Chief Commissioner of the MACC, confirmed the ongoing investigation and highlighted its focus on Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009, which deals with the abuse of power for personal gain, as well as Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which addresses money laundering offenses.
The MACC remains committed to conducting a thorough investigation into these allegations of corruption and financial impropriety, ensuring accountability and upholding the principles of justice.