Mara property purchase probe: 24 people questioned by MACC so far

Ahmad Fairuz Othman

JOHOR BARU: A total of 24 people have been called in for questioning and seven premises probed as part of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s investigation into Mara Incorporated Sdn Bhd (Mara Inc)’s property purchase case in Australia.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said the investigation is ongoing, and that the premises investigated included those of Mara Inc and its associates.

"So far, 24 witnesses have been called upon, and we have conducted an investigation on more than seven premises, including the offices of lawyers, evaluators, and the offices of Mara Inc and its associates.

“Documents were also seized," said Azam following a meeting with MACC investigation director, Datuk Simi Abdul Ghani, and Johor MACC director, Datuk Azmi Alias, at the Puteri Pacific Hotel here today.

He said the MACC has received new information on the case involving alleged money-laundering, and investigations may continue beyond this year, depending on its progress.

The Mara Inc property purchase was highlighted by Australian newspaper ‘The Age’, which alleged that a high-ranking Mara official, a senior official and another person had overspent government funds in buying a block of apartments in Melbourne.

It was reported that the trio had overpaid by A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million) for the apartment block in 2013.

The five-storey apartment block at Dudley International House in Melbourne was bought by Mara for use as a hostel for its students there.