PUTRAJAYA: The Customs Department has absolved Senator Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani of any involvement in an Approved Permit (AP) clone scam.
Customs preventive division director Mohamed Adnan Ariffin said that while the APs had been given to Muhammad’s car import company, “there is no proof that the senator was personally involved, even though we detected cloned APs from the company.”
“The senator has been extremely cooperative throughout our investigation and has helped us in any way that he could,” Adnan said after a meeting with Muhammad yesterday.
Two newspapers reported on Monday that Muhammad had collaborated with his son to clone the APs. The dailies reported that the Customs Department had evidence of the scam with the seizure of at least 20 imported luxury vehicles brought in under cloned APs.
Adnan said his department had submitted its investigation report to the AG’s Chambers and was currently waiting for instructions on action against the perpetrators identified.
The Customs learnt late last year that Muhammad’s company was one of two firms which had imported cars beyond their allotted APs, which led to suspicion that cloned APs were used.
Muhammad meanwhile expressed relief that he has been cleared of any connection to the scam.
He affirmed that the APs were awarded to the company which was still under his name. The company was managed by his 39-year-old son.
“I have not been involved in the company’s activities for the past six years due to my hectic schedule.
“I have my fingers in many pies ... in politics, as a senator and as president of the Ex-Servicemen Association. That is why I let my son run the business,” he said, adding that he resumed control of the company early this year.
Muhammad said his company obtained 500 APs a year from the International Trade and Industry Ministry and has been in the business of importing luxury cars since 1979.
Efforts to reach Muhammad's son yesterday were unsuccessful.