Azam: MACC ready to justify freezing of Aman Palestin accounts

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is ready to reveal its justification for freezing the accounts of Aman Palestin Bhd, says Tan Sri Azam Baki (pic).

The MACC chief commissioner was responding to Aman Palestin’s demand for the release of its accounts within three days, failing which it would take legal action.

“The commission conducts investigations professionally and fairly, without any ill intention to any party.

“It is up to any party to take any legal action should it feel there is a need to do so.

“However, we are ready to justify our actions in freezing the assets,” Azam said when contacted yesterday.

Freezing assets to assist an ongoing investigation is based on Section 44(1) of Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA), he said.

“The law gives jurisdiction to an enforcement agency to issue an order to freeze the assets of any individual.

“It is a normal action taken in any investigation if there is a need,” he added.

Azam also stressed that the MACC is entrusted to investigate sternly and fairly any issue of misappropriation or abuse of power, especially cases of public interest involving leakages of funds.

On Monday, Aman Palestin lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali had said the non-profit had delivered the letter to the MACC commissioner and the director of its Anti-Money Laundering Act division.

“The notice submitted by Aman Palestin has been sent today (Nov 27) for the freezing of the accounts to be cancelled or retracted.

“If (the MACC) fails to do so, legal action will be taken,” he said.

Muhammad Rafique added that not all 41 accounts frozen by the MACC under AMLATFPUAA belonged to Aman Palestin.

“Some of the accounts belong to strategic partners, the board of directors, and staff of Aman Palestin,” he said.

On Nov 23, the MACC said that over RM25mil in 42 bank accounts under Aman Palestin were frozen to assist investigations for alleged misuse of public donations.

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