Rafizi claims minister, alleged second wife ‘big sharks’ in LCS scandal

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The internal investigation report of the LCS project clearly mentions that Zainab Mohd Salleh is the wife of Latiff Ahmad.

PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli’s hunt for “big sharks” involved in the littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal has ensnared Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Latiff Ahmad via two offshore companies purportedly controlled by his alleged second wife, Zainab Mohd Salleh.

Rafizi today cited LCS internal probe papers that allegedly named the companies – Alizes Marine and Alizes Marine Labuan – as well as millions in payments billed for services not rendered.

“Firstly, these companies were appointed as technical consultants (when they do not have expertise) for the project.

“They sent invoices for work not carried out. A total of RM23.7 million was swindled from the LCS project in its early stages of execution from 2011 to 2014,” claimed Rafizi.

“Secondly, Alizes Marine was also appointed as a spare parts supplier for the LCS project.

“The appointment was based on false information that the company purportedly possess a licence from the French government to be a global exporter of defence spare parts (when in fact it does not have a licence).

“The LCS project paid around RM210 million for spare parts supposedly supplied by a French (licenced) company but the payment was actually misappropriated to ‘fake’ companies set up in Malta and Labuan,” he further claimed.

Rafizi said the companies’ offshore status and the name of the woman said to be Latiff’s second wife were first leaked by whistle-blowers involved in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers projects.

He said Latiff, now with Bersatu, was at the time an Umno deputy defence minister, while Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi led the ministry.

Rafizi also claimed that there were various other forms of defence contracts made involving Latiff, Alizes Marine and a few other companies controlled by the minister and Zainab, aside from the LCS project.

“This is why from the very beginning I demanded an explanation from Zahid as the (then) defence minister who was responsible for changing the ship design from Sigma to Gowind, and Najib Abdul Razak was the finance minister and prime minister at the time.

“It is impossible that this embezzlement scheme involving projects managed by both of them (Najib and Zahid) could happen without their knowledge.

“I hope my revelation today shuts the mouths of Umno and BN who tried to blame the navy retirees when this scandal was first exposed,” said the former Pandan MP.

“I also hope that the leadership of Perikatan Nasional from Bersatu and PAS will start to realise that this LCS scandal will also drag them down because their senior leader, Latiff and his family are directly involved in fake companies that embezzled LCS project funds.

“I await the reactions of the leaders from Umno, PAS and Bersatu leadership who form today’s federal government,” he said.

According to Rafizi, Zainab is Latiff’s second wife and he was Mersing MP when the alleged scandal took place prior to his switching over to Bersatu from Umno after the 2018 polls.

“The internal investigation report of the LCS project also clearly mentions that Zainab Mohd Salleh is the wife of Dr Latiff Ahmad.”