16 company directors arrested for embezzling govt grants

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Grant was applied from MITRA and misappropriated for the benefit of certain individuals.

Bernama

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested 16 company directors last night on suspicion of being involved in the misappropriation of funds of the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (MITRA).

All the suspects aged between 24 and 68 were nabbed in a massive operation around the Klang Valley which was held since Monday.

According to sources, it is estimated that tens of millions of ringgit had been misused by the group which originally applied for MITRA grants to organise socio-economic programmes for the Indian community.

The investigation into the case would cover all the applications and spending of the funds that have been channelled by MITRA since 2018 to date.

“We estimated that almost 60 percent of the grant allocation received by companies, individuals and foundations for the purpose of implementing socioeconomic programmes did not reach the target groups.

“The grant was applied from MITRA and was misappropriated for the benefit of certain individuals,” sources said.

It added that no programmes were held, and no statement of expenditure could be produced to the authorities.

“MITRA was restructured in 2018 during the Pakatan Harapan administration and was placed under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department.

“However, since April 2020, MITRA was placed under the National Unity Ministry and it is estimated that MITRA received a budget of RM100 million a year,” sources said.

All the suspects would be brought to the Putrajaya Magistrate’s Court today for remand application under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Meanwhile, MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki when contacted confirmed the arrest.

He said the case was being investigated under Section 16(a) and Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009.