MACC Unfreezes Arul Kanda’s Two Shares Accounts

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The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has unfrozen two bank accounts of former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy, who is facing a corruption charge.

The two accounts which contain shares were released by the agency yesterday following a notice of motion filed by Arul Kanda to unfreeze the accounts that were held for investigations related to the 1MDB scandal.

Counsel Datuk S Sivananthan who represented Arul Kanda told the court today that his client had withdrawn the notice of motion upon the release of the accounts.

“My client no longer wishes to pursue the motion and also withdrew the claim of damages,” he said.

High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan subsequently struck out the notice of motion.

Arul Kanda had filed the notice of motion on Monday claiming that the order to freeze his accounts under Section 44 of the Anti-Money-Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFAPUAA) 2001 issued by the MACC on July 12, 2018, was null and void.

Arul Kanda had sought for the two central depository system accounts holding his shares to be released by the commission.

He had also sought for damages for loss of investment opportunities with interest from the date his accounts were supposedly released on July 13, 2019, until the date of the release of the accounts.

Arul Kanda was not present in court as he was on sick leave.

When met by journalists after the proceedings, Sivananthan said the motion was filed by his client since there was no prosecution or forfeiture action taken throughout the one year the accounts were frozen.

“We filed the application since neither of these had been done.

“Fortunately, yesterday the MACC issued a directive to Bursa (Malaysia) and Maybank to unfreeze the accounts. None of my client’s accounts is frozen anymore,” he said.

The two MayBank accounts are CDS accounts for share-trading, hence why the MACC unfreezing directive was to Bursa Malaysia and Maybank.

Sivananthan said eight bank accounts had been frozen and six of which were his client’s bank account were earlier released by the MACC.

When asked whether MACC has given any reason for the freezing of the accounts, the lawyer said it gave no reason as there is no such requirement under the Act.

Arul Kanda, 43, will go for trial together with former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for their charge of tampering an audit report on the state fund.

The trial is set to commence in November.

On Dec 12, last year, Arul Kanda was charged at the Sessions Court with committing the offence at Kompleks Jabatan Perdana Menteri in Putrajaya between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

He allegedly abetted Najib, 66, in using the latter’s position as then prime minister to order the amendment to the report.

He faces a maximum 20-year jail term, and a fine no less than five times the graft involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher.