PETALING JAYA: Three months after trailing him, the Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) moved in and arrested Rural and Regional Development Ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohd Arif Ab Rahman at his home just as he was about to leave for work.
Gold bars, 150 luxury handbags, branded watches and foreign currencies were found after officers searched the property in USJ3, Subang Jaya, for 12 hours.
The gold bars and Australian and Euro currencies seized were estimated at RM3mil.
The designer handbags were from brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
Prices for some of these bags range from RM7,000 to RM100,000 each.
When contacted, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki confirmed the arrests of Mohd Arif, 59, and his 29-year-old son at their home at 8am yesterday.
He said the case was being investigated for abuse of power, corruption and money laundering.
Raid target: MACC officers arrested Mohd Arif at his house in Subang Jaya as he was about to leave for work.
The MACC is said to be investigating whether all his overseas trips and other expenses incurred there were paid for by “certain individuals”.
A source said Mohd Arif just returned from a golfing trip to the United States.
“More suspects will be picked up soon to assist in the probe,” Azam said.
Mohd Arif and his son are expected to be remanded this morning.
It is understood that MACC is investigating 38 savings and current accounts and at least three safe deposit boxes in several banks in connection with the case.
The probe also covers several plots of lands.
The source said several documents from a lawyer’s office in Puchong related to the plots of land were also seized.
It is learnt that statements had also been recorded from Mohd Arif’s 57-year-old wife, his 32-year-old daughter and another son aged 34.
The couple has six children.
Attempts to contact Mohd Arif for comments were unsuccessful.
A visit to his double-storey terrace corner lot home at about 7pm showed that no one was present.
Three luxury cars were parked in the porch. The housing area is a gated and guarded community.
A Proton Perdana was parked in front of the house.
Mohd Arif was appointed to the ministry post on Oct 16, 2015. He also sits in the board of a government-linked company.
Prior to that, he also served as a secretary-general in another ministry and was a deputy secretary-general and state financial officer.
He joined the civil service in 1981 as an administrative and diplomatic officer and is a Universiti Malaya graduate.
Sources: Simon Khoo, Mazwin Nik Anis, Andaustin Camoens The Star/Asian News Network
MACC: Sec-gen is from Rural and Regional Development Ministry
PETALING JAYA: The suspect who was arrested earlier Wednesday for alleged graft is from the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, confirms Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki.
When contacted to verify the identity of the suspect, Azam confirmed that it was the current Ministry secretary-general, Datuk Mohd Arif Ab Rahman.
In a statement earlier, Azam said that Mohd Arif was arrested at his house in USJ Subang Jaya at 8am.
Also arrested was a 29-year-old male suspect.
Mohd Arif is suspected to have abused his power and position since 2010 to solicit bribes.
Initial investigations showed he had a direct hand in appointing contractors, suppliers and vendors.
The MACC has also confiscated cash and gold bars worth about RM3mil.
Sec-gen nabbed for corruption
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) has seized gold bars and cash amounting to some RM3 million from the secretary-general of a federal ministry, who was arrested for suspected graft today.
The 59-year-old “datuk” was detained at his home in Subang Jaya by an MACC raiding team at 8am today. Also arrested was his 29-year-old son.
It is learnt that investigators have also quizzed the secretary-general’s wife, two daughters and another son.
Members of the raiding party spent 12 hours searching their house where they seized 150 luxury handbags and dozens of luxury watches.
The MACC also raided his lawyer’s office in Puchong where investigators took away an undisclosed number of documents related to the case.
In confirming the arrest, MACC deputy Chief Commissioner (Operations) Datuk Azam Baki hinted at the possibility of more arrests to come in connection with the case.
He said the Datuk is suspected of having received bribes from selected contractors, vendors and suppliers whom he had awarded government work and contracts.
The Datuk, who was previously secretary-general of another ministry before being appointed to his current position where he is directly involved in the award of government work contracts, is also a director in a government-linked company (GLC).
He is alleged to have recently taken a trip to play golf in the United States, for which MACC investigators learnt the expenses were paid by certain individuals with vested interests in projects by the Datuk’s ministry.
The arrest comes days after MACC chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad on Sunday had advised senior civil servants to stop their golfing trips abroad as it can be opportunities for corruption.
On Tuesday, during an interview with the MACC.fm, Azam had reiterated his boss’ advice, saying that golf often offers an opportunity for those in upper society to establish contacts, whether they are public figures, government officials or businessmen.
“Golf by itself is not wrong and those who join others to play golf are not wrong, too. I also play golf. But in Malaysia, golf involves high-ranking officials, public figures and people in high-society.
“An entourage on overseas golfing trips often include contractors, suppliers … sometimes the whole (government official’s) office go along on these trips,” he said.
Azam said this does not only happen at the federal level but has also involved state, district and local government officials.
By Charles Ramendran firstname.lastname@example.org
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