Businessman in cahoots with S’pore firms in LCS scandal

PUTRAJAYA: A businessman is being investigated for submitting invoices from three companies to a shipping firm under the pretext of being suppliers to the littoral combat ships (LCS) project, which resulted in a payment of RM24mil.

Sources with knowledge of the case said the broker had found three Singapore-based companies to be in cahoots with him in issuing the invoices.

“The invoices were sent to the shipping firm but these companies had nothing to do with the project.

“This has resulted in a payment amounting to RM24mil,” sources told The Star.

They also said more people might be summoned for questioning if there are new findings and fresh information on the case.

The 62-year-old is the third person arrested in recent days after graft investigators found fresh leads in the controversial case of the non-delivery of the LCS.

He was arrested at about 9.30pm on Tuesday after being summoned to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters to have his statement recorded.

A five-day remand order against the broker was obtained from magistrate Shah Wira Abdul Halim yesterday.

On Monday, a former top official of Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd and a chief executive officer of a company were arrested in connection to the case.

The 79-year-old Tan Sri was released after his statement was recorded while the 49-year-old woman has been remanded to assist the probe.

The arrests of both suspects led investigators to millions of ringgit – believed to have connections with the project – paid to three Singapore-based companies.

According to earlier reports, the project worth more than RM9bil was awarded in 2014 and the order was for six LCS to be constructed by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS).

The ships should have been delivered in April 2019 but so far, none has been built despite the government having already paid RM6bil to the company.

In November 2020, BNS’s parent company Boustead Heavy Industries lodged a report with the MACC on possible irregularities in the LCS project.

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