PUTRAJAYA: The offer was RM2mil for a Tan Sri title, RM150,000 for a Datukship, and RM250,000 if you wanted to be Datuk Seri.
But they were fake awards, and a non-governmental organisation president, believed to be the mastermind behind a syndicate selling these federal awards, has been arrested and remanded.
He is one of six individuals nabbed after graft investigators got wind of their activities.
It is learnt that the suspect, who is in his 30s, was arrested in Melaka at about 3pm on Wednesday.
Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the man was suspected to have played a key role in the syndicate and is the person who determines the price for those interested in obtaining an award.
It is learnt that the syndicate had conned six individuals who wished to get awards without going through the normal procedure.
“The syndicate is believed to have been in operation since 2020.
“They were said to have deceived victims by showing photographs and documents supposedly from a government agency.
“This is to convince their victims that the medals and titles that they arranged via backdoor were genuine,” said a source.
It is believed that one of the victims had paid RM1.2mil to be awarded a Tan Sri title, and investigators were also tracking five other victims of the syndicate.
On Thursday, Magistrate Irza Zulaikha Rohanuddin granted a five-day remand order against the NGO president until Dec 11.
Sources said that four other suspects – three men and a woman in their 30s to 50s – were arrested at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters on Nov 30.
The fifth suspect, a woman in her 40s, was arrested on Dec 4.
Three of the suspects had their remand extended for three days from Dec 6 while one was released on MACC bail.
The female suspect, who was arrested on Dec 4, has been remanded for four days from Dec 5.
MACC senior director of investigation Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim confirmed the arrests, adding that the agency was investigating the case.
He said that graft investigators were looking for several other individuals for their involvement in the syndicate.