Ex-Mara Inc chairperson arrested, to face charges over RM33.45m bribe

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“Datuk” to face 22 charges for allegedly receiving kickbacks over property sale in Australia.

A former chairman of Mara Incorporated is expected to face 22 graft charges in connection with the property purchase scandal by Mara Incorporated in Dudley International House, Australia.

Sources close to the investigation said the 65-year-old, with the title Datuk, is believed to have received RM33.45 million from the said purchase.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki, when contacted, confirmed the Datuk’s arrest at noon today at the MACC headquarters.

“He (the Datuk) will be brought to court to face 22 graft charges this Friday,” he said.

Bernama

The scandal involves Mara’s purchase of the multimillion-dollar apartment complex in Australia in 2013.

In July, Australian authorities charged a man, Teen Boon Lye, with bribing a Malaysian official to secure the sale of the building called Dudley House in Melbourne.

According to a report by Sydney Morning Herald, Teen was charged on July 9, some five years after an exposé which revealed the price of the property had been inflated by A$4.75 million (RM14.4 million) to provide kickbacks to a group of Malaysian officials.

The original price for the property was A$17.85 million but it was later sold for A$22.6 million, with the A$4.75 million paid or promised to people, including individuals allegedly named Zach Zainal and Erwan Azizi, with the intention of influencing a Malaysian public official to secure the sale of said property.

The 22 charges are under Section 16(a) and Section 17(a) of the MACC Act 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

Section 16(a) concerns the offence of corruptly soliciting, receiving or agreeing to receive gratification as inducement for certain deeds, while Section 17(a) concerns the offence of gratification as an agent.

Both sections under the MACC Act provide punishment of up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of not less than five times of the gratification sum.

The Dudley property scandal came to light in 2015 when two Australian newspapers reported that the price of Dudley International House was deliberately inflated by AU$4.75 million.

The newspapers also reported that millions of government funds were siphoned to purchase the student accommodation facility.

The Australian media report then led to a revelation of other properties said to have also been bought at inflated prices.