PETALING JAYA: Bank Rakyat chairman Jen (ret) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Haji Zainal has been detained for questioning over a RM15mil case, the second top level person from the bank to be hauled up by the MACC.
The bank’s managing director, Datuk Mustafha Abd Razak, was detained on Thursday and has since been remanded.
MACC investigation director Datuk Azam Baki confirmed that the commission had moved in yesterday.
“I confirm the arrest. It is to facilitate the ongoing investigation,” he said, declining to elaborate further.
A source told The Star that the chairman was detained at his office in Jalan Rakyat at about 1.15pm yesterday.
“Nearly RM1mil of the suspect’s cash in his bank account has been frozen pending the probe. We went to his office to detain him,” he said.
The source added that the MACC did not rule out the possibility of freezing other assets belonging to the 65-year-old if the funds were found to be connected to any shady dealings.
“The commission will submit a request tomorrow morning (today) to remand the suspect,” the source said, adding that the graftbusters were aiming to obtain a lengthy remand.
The source said the duo were the only individuals from the bank who were being questioned by MACC over the case.
The chairman and the 48-year-old managing director were detained over a multi-million-ringgit book publishing contract and a project to upgrade the bank system.
The Star reported yesterday that a second banker was being sought by the MACC over the publishing contract and the upgrading project.
It is believed the RM15mil was given to a publishing company to come up with a coffee-table book about a prominent political figure. The deal was for the publisher to print about 20,000 copies but the number printed is said to have been much lower.
A source said that several bank accounts, totalling about RM10mil, have been frozen by the MACC in connection with the case.
Another source told The Star that the MACC suspected several people of collaborating in the project.
“The MACC also wants the mastermind behind this,” the source said.
The MACC has been on crackdown against graft in high places in recent days.
On Aug 15, three government officers – one with the title “Datuk” and another “Datuk Seri” – were arrested by the MACC for graft, misuse of power and money laundering.
All three men, who were employed at a government department, a local authority and a government-linked company, were detained in Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Kelantan respectively.
All accounts belonging to them – with deposits totalling more than RM13mil – were frozen.
It is not known if the cases are related.