MACC to complete probe into Sabah Water corruption

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will soon complete its probe into the Sabah Water Department’s graft and power abuse scandal. 

Its deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said investigations papers would be submitted to the Attorney-General after investigators of the graft agency pored through nearly 12 tonnes of documents.  

In a statement Thursday, he said MACC officials spent nearly a month to analyse 8,000 payment vouchers between 2008 and 2016 from “tens of thousands of documents” as part of their investigations.

The documents were seized from 30 locations around Sabah including Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Sandakan and Lahad Datu.

Azam said 28 people including the department's director and two of his deputies were detained during the course of their investigations since early October.

Also detained were 23 divisional and district engineers and two more individuals who were involved in the case.

In addition, the MACC recorded the statements of 200 witnesses during the course of the probe, Azam added.

He said the MACC had also seized or frozen properties totalling some RM114.5mil comprising cash, bank accounts, unit trusts and other assets within and outside the country.

Azam said investigations involved 137 MACC officers from MACC's headquarters as well as from its various divisions and states.

It was reported that Water Department officials were alleged to have abused their powers by awarding contracts to 38 companies owned by their families or cronies, to siphon off federal funds.

MACC investigators were to have implicated top department officials in connection with the siphoning of money from RM3.3bil worth of federal allocations for state rural water projects since 2010. 
Azam had been quoted as saying that certain individuals in the department may have been collecting as much as 27% to 30% in kickbacks from the contracts awarded. 

MACC investigators were also looking into suspected money laundering in their bid to recover some RM30mil that had been reportedly stashed in overseas accounts.

MACC , Sabah , Water corruption