Mara property purchase: AGC agrees to charge several individuals

Mara property purchase: AGC agrees to charge several individuals

KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has agreed in principle to charge several parties in connection with the purchase of the Dudley International House in Melbourne, Australia by Mara Incorporated Sdn Bhd (Mara Inc).

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said the commission is making plans for the right time to charge the individuals in the court.

“One of them is likely to be living in Sabah and is (believed) undergoing quarantine (due to Covid-19).

“(And) we are firm in carrying out this case and not protecting any parties. We are just waiting for the right time to charge,” he said in an interview titled MACC Empowerment and Anti-Corruption Efforts via MACC.fm yesterday.

In 2015, Mara’s investment wing was embroiled in controversy following a revelation by Australian newspaper The Age, which claimed it had spent millions of ringgit to buy a five-storey apartment block in Melbourne at above market price.

The newspaper claimed that ‘a group of extremely rich Malaysian officials’ had overpaid by A$4.75 million to buy an apartment in Melbourne in 2013, namely A$22.5 million instead of A$17.8 million, with the difference going towards kickbacks paid to Malaysian officials.

Dudley International House is a student hostel bought by Mara, an agency that provides scholarships to Malaysian students to study abroad.

On the gambling and cigarette smuggling syndicate in Sungai Buloh, Azam said the investigations are now in the final phase and he would discuss with the deputy public prosecutor to see if charges could be filed.

“Maybe someone will be charged or not. (It) is a punitive action which may be the accused or other action taken against any parties.

“Yet, what is important so far is the quick action by us in stopping the illegal activities which raised various negative reactions to our enforcement in the country,” he added.

In August, several videos went viral via Mohd Asri Hamid, or Asri Janggut’s, Hot Burger Malaysia Facebook page where he claimed there were widespread selling of contraband cigarettes and gambling at several shophouses in Sungai Buloh.