KUALA LUMPUR: Cases involving politicians formed over 60 per cent of the 156 investigation papers opened by a special division within the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) between 2020 and Jun 8 this year.
The anti-graft agency’s Special Operations Division (BOK) senior director Tan Kang Sai said that the investigations resulted in the arrest of 211 individuals. Of this, 91 people were brought to court and 454 charges were involved.
“During the same period, the MACC also confiscated RM51,132,539 (US$11 million) in cash, forfeited property and cash amounting to RM10,465,873.39 and issued compound amounting to RM128,968,750,” he told Bernama recently.
Mr Tan said that among the high-profile cases which had been investigated by BOK involved the misuse of funds amounting to hundreds of millions of ringgit provided by the government for the development of the Indian community, workers and the country’s automotive industry.
BOK is a special investigation unit of MACC established to investigate high-profile and public interest cases as well as those affecting the country’s security.
Mr Tan noted that investigating the money trail becomes difficult when the money involved is transferred to accounts abroad because each country has different laws to protect its banking system.
Banks and financial institutions also have the right not to cooperate and to refuse to provide information to facilitate the investigation, he added.
“As such, we see that most of the evidence on the money trail brought to the court only involves local banks and financial institutions,” said Mr Tan.
He said that cases sensationalised by the media and politicians also make the BOK’s investigations challenging as it allows parties involved to take the opportunity to destroy important documents such as financial transactions and to flee.
Mr Tan also pointed out that technological advancements allowing financial transactions to be carried out using only mobile phones presents their own challenges.
“In view of the challenges, MACC engages experts in accounting, engineering and law as part of the BOK investigation team to ensure a comprehensive investigation before submitting the investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” he said.