Down under but not over: MACC still pursuing Mara's 'Dudley House' purchase case

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020

An image of the Dudley International House in Caulfield, Melbourne. -Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) says it is looking into the possibility of charging certain individuals over the acquisition of Dudley House in Melbourne by Mara following claims it overpaid up to A$4.75mil (RM13.8mil) for the student housing facility.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said the probe into the case was completed at domestic level but there was a "slight hiccup" as the MACC had to work with other authorities including the Australian Federal Police (AFP), who in turn needed some leeway to complete their case.

"We have already communicated with the AFP and progress is ongoing with several pieces of evidence that need to be handed over to us soon.

"We are in discussion with the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) to see if there are any possible charges against certain people based on the evidence the AFP provided," he told reporters at the "Corporate Liability – Are You At Risk" forum here on Tuesday (Sept 15).

He was asked to comment on the latest update of the Mara property scandal, where Australian authorities seized properties and cash totalling A$1.6mil from a man accused of bribing a Malaysian official to secure Mara's purchase of a multimillion-dollar apartment complex in Melbourne in 2013.

The property scandal was first revealed by Australian media, which alleged that the purchase of Dudley International House in Melbourne was at an inflated price.

This led to revelation of other properties also allegedly purchased at inflated prices.

"If the law allows us to charge these people, then we will go on charging certain people over the Mara case," said Azam.

Asked if MACC would meet the individuals involved, Azam said that he would not comment on this.

"Most importantly, certain people in the country can be charged if the DPP agrees to it," he added.

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