KUALA LUMPUR: Two prominent businessmen with 'Tan Sri' titles and a third businessman with a 'Datuk Seri' title are under investigation for suspected tax evasion and corruption.
Their accounts and assets are said to have been frozen in a special operation jointly conducted by the National Revenue Enforcement Team, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the police and the Customs Department.
The raids were said to have been conducted in Penang and Johor, with more details expected to be revealed soon.
The two Tan Sri businessmen are from Penang and Kedah respectively, while the Datuk Seri is from Johor.
It has been reported that one of the businessmen allegedly ran an illegal gambling syndicate throughout the country as well as nightclubs that opened past operating hours.
The authorities are also looking into whether he is linked to triad activities and are investigating how he has managed to be protected.
This Datuk Seri businessman, with at least four nightclubs and 23 entertainment premises, was investigated three months ago. Sources said he was called up again recently for questioning.
The authorities said he was allegedly linked to triad activities, and that they are also probing his links with powerful personalities who are now retired from government agencies.
All the top officials from the joint investigating team have declined to confirm or deny details on the high-profile case.
It is reported that the Datuk Seri businessmen allegedly gave bribes of more than RM1mil a month to enforcement officers from various agencies.
One of the other three businessmen reportedly used a proxy to buy Malay reserve land at a cheap price before selling these lots to the Government for a much higher price when they were needed for development projects.
Last month, businessman Datuk Seri Ng Chian Sia was charged along with 21 others in a Sessions Court in George Town with being members of the infamous Gang 24 in Penang.
Ng, 55, believed to be the gang's top boss, was conferred the Sri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (SSAP) title, which carries the title of Datuk Seri, in 2015.
Recently, former MIC Youth division leader Datuk M. Kalai Arasu was among 29 men believed to be with Gang 360 Devan who were charged at the Kajang Sessions Court with taking part in organised crime.