Monday, December 6, 2021

16 company directors nabbed for alleged embezzlement of govt grants

It is estimated that tens of millions of ringgit had been misused by the group which originally applied for Mitra grants to organise socioeconomic programmes for the Indian community.

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The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested 16 company directors last night on suspicion of being involved in the misappropriation of funds from the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra).

The suspects, aged between 24 and 68, were nabbed in a massive operation around the Klang Valley conducted since Monday.

According to sources, it is estimated that tens of millions of ringgit had been misused by the group which originally applied for Mitra grants to organise socioeconomic programmes for the Indian community.

The investigation into the case will cover all applications and spending of funds channelled by Mitra since 2018.

“We estimates that almost 60% of the grant allocation received by companies, individuals and foundations for the purpose of implementing socioeconomic programmes did not reach the target groups.

“The grant was applied from Mitra and was misappropriated for the benefit of certain individuals,” sources said.

They added that no programmes were held and no statement of expenditure could be produced to the authorities.

“Mitra was restructured in 2018 during the Pakatan Harapan administration and placed under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department.

“However, since April 2020, Mitra has been under the national unity ministry and it is estimated that it received a budget of RM100 million a year,” the sources said.

The suspects will be brought to the Putrajaya Magistrate’s Court today for a remand application under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki, when contacted, confirmed the arrests.

He said the case is being investigated under Section 16(a) and Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009.

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