12 spots raided in tunnel probe


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PETALING JAYA: More arrests are likely as investigators intensify their probe into the controversial Penang undersea tunnel project.

They have conducted raids on 12 locations in Kuala Lumpur and Penang and have recorded statements from 12 witnesses.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) questioned officers from the State Treasury Department, State Economic Planning Unit, Penang Public Works Department (JKR), the state Land and Mines office and a director of a company.

MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said new information and evidence have been obtained and could lead to more arrests.

Among premises visited by the investigating teams yesterday were the houses of the two high-ranking bosses of the companies in Kuala Lumpur.

Sources familiar with the case said the companies’ offices – both in Penang and Kuala Lumpur – were also raided by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers.

“Aside from documents, nothing else was taken from the sites. Investigators are in the process of studying the contents of the documents,” a source told The Star.

On Tuesday two high-ranking bosses – both Datuks – aged 49 and 59 were remanded for six days to assist in investigations. One was remanded here and the other in Penang.

It is learnt that MACC investigators recorded statements from 12 individuals including officers in the State Economic Planning Unit and other departments involved in dealing with contracts and approvals.

“We did not arrest anyone. We only took statements from these individuals,” said the source.

Azam said his officers were still carrying out investigations into the undersea tunnel project and did not discount the possibility of more raids and having to call more people for their statements.

He also said the Datuk who was remanded in Penang has been transferred to the MACC headquarters here.

“This is to make it easier for us to question him since the documents are here and in case we need to bring the person to his office or home as part of investigation,”Azam added.

Asked if Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng or any of the state exco members would be called to have their statements recorded, Azam said: “For now, the need to do has not arisen”.

On Tuesday, MACC personnel raided the offices of four state government agencies – the Penang Public Works Department, Penang State Secretary, Penang Lands and Mines Department and Penang Valuation and Property Services Department – and three property development and construction firms believed to be related to the case.

The project involves a plan to bore a 6.5km tunnel below the seabed to connect north Butterworth and the island. The tunnel is to connect Bagan Ajam, a mature suburb about 5km from the Butterworth ferry terminal, to the end of Gurney Drive near the Pangkor Road junction on the island.

Connected to the project are three paired roads to be built on the island as a traffic dispersal system to cope with the traffic that the tunnel would bring to Gurney Drive, which is already densely developed.

The three paired roads are from Teluk Bahang to Tanjung Bungah, from Pangkor Road to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and from Air Itam to the expressway near the Penang Bridge.

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Government , MACC , Penang , tunnel

   

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