Money laundering probe on Bersatu unrelated to Covid-19 stimulus packages, says MACC

PETALING JAYA: Bersatu is currently being investigated under the Money Laundering Act and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 but the probe is not related to Covid-19 stimulus package funds, says Tan Sri Azam Baki.

The MACC chief commissioner also said two Bersatu accounts were also frozen a fortnight ago.

"Yes, I can confirm that the Bersatu accounts were frozen by us more than two weeks ago.

"The investigation is under the MACC Act 2009 and the Money Laundering Act," said Azam when contacted on Wednesday (Feb 1).

Earlier on Wednesday, Bersatu sources said that party accounts had been frozen by MACC, believed to be linked to investigations related to misuse of Covid-19 funds.

However, Azam denied that the investigations were linked with Covid-19 funds.

"Sources said 'nope'," said Azam briefly.

In January, a man with close links to Bersatu's top leadership was arrested by the MACC over graft allegations related to brokering of government projects.

It is understood that the man, a Bersatu division leader from the Federal Territories, was probed in relation to the alleged misappropriation of the RM92.5bil Covid-19 stimulus package funds under the former Perikatan Nasional government.

The Star also reported last month that the man was arrested at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya after giving his statement.

The 42-year-old is the chief executive officer of a private company which allegedly acted as a middleman for the distribution of the economic stimulus packages from 2020 to 2022.

The suspect also allegedly took bribes to connect contractors with government higher-ups.

Previously, the MACC had said in a statement that investigations were focused on the RM92.5bil under the stimulus and economic recovery packages.

Investigation papers have been opened on at least five people believed to be masterminds or middlemen for several companies that had obtained projects ranging from RM50mil to RM500mil via direct negotiation.

Sources added that 90% of the projects obtained via direct negotiation had not been executed as no acceptance letters were issued.

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