Four-day remand for five suspects who allegedly cheated Sabah govt of gold mining royalties

PUTRAJAYA: Five suspects have been remanded over a case where the Sabah government was cheated of gold mining royalties.

The four-day remand order until May 26 was issued by Magistrate Shasha Damia Sabtu at the Shah Alam court on Tuesday (May 23).

It is learnt that the suspects include a director and accounts manager of a jewellery company as well as goldsmiths aged between 30 and 50.

They were arrested after being summoned to record their statements at around 5pm on Monday (May 22).

Sources said the suspects are believed to be involved in purchasing hundreds of kilograms of gold worth millions of ringgit and had presented a sales and purchase record containing false information.

"This is believed to have been done to avoid paying the actual amount in royalties to the Sabah government," a source said.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission senior director of investigation Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim confirmed the arrests.

On May 17, six people, including a Datuk, were arrested for allegedly cheating the Sabah government of RM1.25mil worth of royalties from their gold mining operations.

It is believed the individuals from two mining companies did not declare about 100kg of gold, worth some RM25mil, mined from Bukit Mantri in the east coast Tawau district.

It is understood that the suspects, including the chief executive officer and director of a company, had allegedly tried to deceive the state government by providing false details on statements over the sale of the gold.

The 100kg of gold is said to be part of the find from mining operations in the area from 2020 to 2022.

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