Former ‘spies’ received US$12m from ‘Middle Eastern source’ pre-GE14?

Zurairi Ar
MACC deputy chief commissioner, Datuk Seri Azam Baki, holds up a bundle of US dollar notes totalling US$1.6 million during a news conference in Putrajaya August 30, 2018. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — A “Middle Eastern source” may have provided US$12 million (RM49.3 million) to the former local intelligence officers currently under probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), a report claimed today.

Quoting an anonymous senior investigation officer, Malaysiakini reported that the cash was brought into the country prior to the 14th general election (GE14).

“What we found so far is that the suspects used their authority to get special access through the airport [in Malaysia],” the source was quoted as saying.

He said the graft busters are currently investigating if the funds were used in the polls, but refused to divulge more details on the money.

“The question now is on the breach of our national security. First, there is an issue of how the money was brought into our country undetected. We believed that they declared the cash as something else to pass through airport security,” the source said.

“This is a breach of security at our country’s entry point.

“Secondly, what business does a government department have in receiving funds from a foreign source, and for what purpose? So, there is also a concern if national security was breached,” he added.

The Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 and Exchange Control Act 1953 state that any traveller carrying cash, traveller’s cheque, bankers draft, bearer cheque, bills of exchange, promissory notes, postal order or money order equivalent to US$10,000 and above must declare so at the point of entry.

Earlier today, MACC said it seized a total of US$6.3 million in US currency from various locations nationwide while investigating the Malaysian Internal External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) for allegedly siphoning funds meant for the polls.

MACC Chief Commissioner of Operations Datuk Seri Azam Baki also revealed today that the latest US cash seizure was US$4.07 million when his men arrested a businessman in Kelantan last night.

He did not rule out the possibility investigations could involve 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), saying it was among the angles being covered by investigators.

The arrest of the 47-year-old businessman brings the total number of suspects in custody to nine people, including a former MEIO director-general and seven officers from the “spy” agency parked under the Prime Minister’s Department.

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