RM3.5 million in cash seized, RM100 million in bank accounts frozen in ‘Project Cartel’ probe
ANTI-GRAFT investigators found RM3.5 million stashed in the home of the ringleader of the “Project Cartel” syndicate following a raid at his Klang Valley residence yesterday.
Sources told The Malaysian Insight that luxury vehicles worth RM15.7 million, along with properties including bungalows, shophouses and offices worth RM29 million, were also seized in the raid.
“A total of 644 personal accounts as well as company accounts estimated to be worth RM100 million were also frozen,” a source said.
According to another source, apart from owning several expensive properties and keeping huge amounts of cash, the suspect also owned several luxury cars, a yacht and two helicopters.
Yesterday, seven men were remanded for six days until April 10 to assist in the investigations.
The suspects, aged between 33 and 47, were arrested on suspicion of monopolising 345 tenders from several ministries and government agencies nationwide over the past seven years.
The suspects were nabbed in the Klang Valley where they usually gathered to fill out the tender forms.
Seven suspects and a 38-year-old senior government officer have been nabbed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to assist in the ‘Project Cartel’ probe. – Pic courtesy of MACC, April 6, 2021.
Last night, another suspect, a senior government officer was also nabbed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission as the investigations into this group intensified.
The 38-year-old man, who worked as a surveyor (Grade 48), was said to have prepared the Bill of Quantities (BQ) for the projects offered by the agencies.
“We believed the suspect received kickbacks to reveal the projects’ specifications to the syndicate leader, to make it easier for the cartel to submit its tender.
“The arrest was made at his home in Ampang late last night,” a source told The Malaysian Insight.
The source added that the suspect was paid RM300,000 for each piece of information he revealed to the syndicate and as of last night, the man had allegedly received RM1.2 million.
MACC chief Azam Baki confirmed the latest arrest.
“The leader controlled more than 150 companies that applied to the ministries and agencies for projects. He owned the companies but hired company directors to serve as fronts.
“The syndicate had used the names of hundreds of individuals, where each individual would be paid a monthly salary of RM5,000 to RM8,000 and commission as compensation for the use of their names and personal details,” the source added.
It is learnt that all the companies will be used in rotation to enter tenders/quotations in ministries and government agencies.
The classified information of the tenders, including project specifications and project ceiling price, would then be channelled by “insiders” in the ministry or government agency.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Mohammad Zuki Ali in a statement said stern action will be taken against any civil servant involved in illegal activities.
He added that the arrests of the individuals from the “Project Cartel” syndicate yesterday was alarming.
“I fully support all efforts to eradicate any misconduct and irregularities that occur in the government system, especially issues related to corruption,” Zuki added.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT