MACC: 11 held, eight luxury vehicles seized in smuggling, bribery probe

MACC: 11 held, eight luxury vehicles seized in smuggling, bribery probe

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested 11 individuals suspected of being involved in a tobacco, liquor and cigarette smuggling syndicate, and seized eight luxury vehicles, which allegedly belonged to them, estimated to be worth almost RM6 million.

According to a source, these individuals, aged 30 to 50, consisting of civil servants, middlemen and three company owners, two of whom with the ‘Datuk’ title, were arrested in a special operation carried out in the Klang Valley on Monday.

The luxury vehicles seized included two Lamborghinis, a Lexus, a Mercedes-Benz, a BMW, a Volvo and two Toyotas.

The source also said that the operation was carried out by MACC’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Division, in collaboration with the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

“The vehicles were seized from several individuals who held positions as company owners, as well as middlemen who made bribe payments to officials at an enforcement agency.

“The syndicate was also found to have carried out money-laundering activities, using ‘ghost company’ accounts, through licensed moneylenders and moneychangers,” he said.

The source said that the syndicate’s smuggling activities were believed to have caused tax revenue losses, estimated at more than RM400 million, and involved bribes of more than RM8 million to several individuals, including civil servants, to enable the smuggling activities.

“This syndicate is believed to have used a modus operandi of using mule accounts to make payment transactions to civil servants who are in cahoots,” said the source.

Meanwhile, MACC AML director Datuk Mohamad Zamri Zainul Abidin, when contacted, confirmed the matter and said that the case was being investigated under Sections 17(a) and 17(b) of the MACC Act 2009.


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