Ex-Mara Inc chief to be charged over property deal

Controversial estate: An image of the Dudley International House in Caulfield, Melbourne as captured on Google Street View.

PUTRAJAYA: A former Mara Incorporated chairman, believed to have received bribes amounting to RM33.45mil over the purchase of a property in Australia, will face 22 charges tomorrow.

The 65-year-old will be taken to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to face charges in connection with the controversial purchase of Dudley International House in Melbourne by Mara.

Sources close to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said the man, a Datuk, was arrested yesterday at the commission’s headquarters to finalise the process of charging him in court.

The individual will face charges under the MACC Act for corruption as well as charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism, Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

Sources revealed the individual is believed to have received millions of ringgit in bribes over the purchase of the property.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki confirmed the arrest of the former Mara Inc chairman.

“Yes, he has been arrested and he will be brought before a corruption court on Friday to face 22 charges” Azam said.

In September last year, Azam added, MACC was looking into the possibility of charging certain individuals over the acquisition of Dudley House by Mara, following claims that it overpaid up to A$4.75mil (RM13.8mil) for the student housing facility.

Australian authorities had earlier seized properties and cash totalling A$1.6mil (RM4.93mil) from a man accused of bribing a Malaysian official to secure Mara’s purchase of a multimillion-dollar apartment complex in Melbourne in 2013.

In July last year, it was reported that Australian federal police had charged one of its citizens, Teen Boon Lye, with bribing a foreign official and four counts of false accounting relating to the sale.

Dudley International House is a student dormitory located in the East Caulfield suburb, housing Monash University students.

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