MACC arrests 22 for embezzling Mitra funds

647
- Advertisement - [resads_adspot id="2"]

The suspects include company presidents, directors and secretaries.

Twenty-two people were arrested in a large-scale operation yesterday over misappropriation of funds from the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said.

TMI

The suspects include company presidents, directors, and secretaries.

Sources told The Malaysian Insight that six of them have been remanded between four and six days starting today at the magistrates’ court in Selangor, Kedah and Putrajaya.

“Of the 22 arrested, six have been remanded while the rest have been released on MACC bail,” the source said.

“The operation was carried out in six states – Perak, Selangor, Kedah, Johor, Negri Sembilan and Malacca – and Kuala Lumpur yesterday.”

Investigations have identified 337 companies, associations, and civil society groups that were allocated grants worth about RM203 million from 2019-2021, the source said.

MACC carried out a two-pronged investigation, with phase one focusing on 27 companies, associations, and civil society groups that received between RM1 million and RM9 million in grants.

Last October, MACC arrested 16 people linked to 10 companies and civil society groups to help with investigations.

All the suspects – aged 24 to 68 – were detained in the Klang Valley for allegedly embezzling tens of millions of ringgit from the fund.

The operation, dubbed Mitra 2.0, focused on the remaining 17 companies or associations that received funds ranging from RM1 million to RM9 millions.

MACC also worked with the National Unity Ministry to set up an internal investigation team to focus on 310 companies that received grants of less than RM1 million.

The focus of the internal investigation is to examine all forms of applications, expenditure reports, and the programmes that have been conducted by the recipients of the Mitra grants between 2019 and 2021.

According to sources, the highest allocation approved was in 2019, for RM90 million to 2015 companies, associations, and civil society groups.

Of this amount, eight companies received grants of more than RM1 million.

Mitra is a unit under the National Unity Ministry. It was established by the Najib Razak administration to fund programmes to raise the socio-economic status of the Indian community.

Sources said of the total grants paid out, only 40% was spent on the purpose the applicants have stated while the rest was misappropriated by high-level executives who were cronies of political party leaders. – TMI


Earlier reports:

Nov 13, MACC to charge 9 companies over misuse of Mitra funds

Oct 29, Millions in Mitra grants handed to organisations with ties to senior politicians in top Indian-based party

Oct 28, MACC probes 205 companies over alleged embezzling of Mitra funds

Oct 26, 16 company directors arrested for embezzling govt grants