MACC busts umrah services syndicate for bribery, managing director remanded till Feb 15

PETALING JAYA: Graft busters have arrested one more suspect linked to a syndicate that raked in more than RM10mil in "payments" from companies providing umrah services.

Sources say that the 35-year-old suspect was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Saturday (Feb 11) in Putrajaya.

"The suspect is the managing director of a travel agency and was arrested at 3.30pm after presenting himself to give his statement at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya," the source said.

It is known that the suspect had been remanded until Feb 15.

It is also believed that the suspect had given bribes to the main two suspects as payment for helping his travel agency obtain umrah flight tickets.

A total of RM160,000 and several laptops had been seized as part of investigations.

"The freezing of certain accounts, especially share trading accounts that involve the wife, ex-wife and children of the suspect are currently underway," the source said.

MACC investigations were focused on the bribing of the officers of the company that was the sole agent of an international airline.

Preliminary investigations showed that the agent company showed no wrongdoing but the officers within had manipulated the selling of tickets by having a commission from other travel agencies.

The tickets were based on the already agreed quota that had been set by the airlines.

"As such, there was no worry of any reductions of quotas by the Saudi government to the airline because the agent has successfully fulfilled the ticket quotas that were allocated," the source added.

When contacted, Special Operations Division senior director Datuk Tan Kang Sai confirmed the arrest and remand.

On Feb 9 six individuals were arrested after a syndicate believed to be responsible for determining the distribution of flight seats to companies providing umrah services was smashed.

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MACC , Umrah Services , Syndicate ,


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