MACC nabs 16 company directors for allegedly misusing Mitra funds

PETALING JAYA: A total of 16 company directors have been picked up by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for alleged misappropriation of funds under the Malaysian Indian Community Transformation Unit (Mitra).

The suspects are aged between 24 and 68 and were arrested in a large-scale operation around the Klang Valley that began on Monday (Oct 25) afternoon.

They were brought before the Putrajaya Magistrate's Court on Tuesday (Oct 26) morning and have been remanded.

When contacted, MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki confirmed the arrest.

The case is being investigated under Section 16 (a) and Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009.

On Oct 15, the MACC said it had opened an investigation paper on allegations of misuse of funds under Mitra.

The agency said it was looking at various angles including the approval process and how the individual associations or companies which received the funds spent the money, to identify any form of corruption, abuse of power and irregularities.

According to sources, it is estimated that tens of millions of ringgit that were meant for a Mitra allocation grant to implement socio-economic programs of the Indian community in Malaysia have been misused.

The sources said that the investigation covers all forms of applications and grant allocations that have been channelled by Mitra since 2018.

It is estimated that almost 60% of the grant allocation received by companies, individuals and foundations for the purpose of implementing socio-economic development programmes did not reach the proper target group.

Instead, the sources said the funds were misappropriated for the benefit of certain individuals, with no programme created and no statement of expenditure submitted.

Mitra was restructured in 2018 during the Pakatan Harapan administration and placed under the Prime Minister's Department.

However, from April 2020, Mitra was placed under the National Unity Ministry.

It is estimated that Mitra obtains a budget of RM100mil a year.

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Crime , graft , MACC , Mitra , arrest


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