JOHOR BARU: Police are investigating a fraud case involving a Public Works Department official, who allegedly “diverted” RM1.3mil in land compensation payments into his friends’ bank accounts.
So far, police have recorded statements from more than a dozen people from the land office and JKR over the so-called land acquisition for building roads in Kulaijaya.
It is learnt that the case came to light when officials from the Kulaijaya land office and JKR started carrying out audit checks and discovered there was another application for compensation payments totalling RM500,000.
A source said investigations then led to a technician, in his 30s, who had knowledge about the government land acquisition plan.
The technician allegedly tampered with the documents and added the names and account numbers of his friends as landowners, said the source.
Investigations also revealed that the payments released were for several parcels of land acquired by the government for upgrading works in Felda Taib Andak last year.
“Each parcel was paid between RM100,000 and RM200,000,” the source said, adding that JKR usually issued payments once the paperwork was verified by the land office.
The actual landowners affected by the road projects were not aware of the government compensation payments for the land acquisition.
Another source claimed that the JKR official who was being investigated also had other disciplinary issues.
Johor State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohamad confirmed that JKR had lodged a police report on the matter and the technician had since been transferred out from Kulaijaya.
“This is a serious offence and we are giving our full assistance to the police,” he said.
He added that besides police investigations, the official would also be facing internal disciplinary action as a report had been lodged with the Ministry of Finance since RM1.3mil had already been paid.