Wednesday, June 29, 2022

MACC tells of graft in pandemic medical purchases

MACC chief Azam Baki says investigations have been launched into abuse of power, fraud and bribery of enforcement officers.

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The country’s anti-graft agency today revealed that corrupt practices had occurred in the purchase of medical equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic, with investigations opened over issues such as bribery in the procurement of medical services.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki said probes were also launched into the abuse of power in diverting relief aid and stimulus packages, and fraud related to falsified medical protective equipment such as face masks and gloves in terms of both quantity and quality.

Giving the keynote address at the Third Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Forum in Putrajaya, he also spoke of the bribery of enforcement officers in the line of enforcing the movement control order.

“It is sad, even in this pandemic and state of emergency, that some of these purchases are mired in corruption,” he said.

“This shows that there are some unscrupulous people who are still taking the opportunity to make illegal money from the people’s pain and misfortunes.”

On MACC’s investigation activities as a whole, he said the agency had opened 829 investigation papers in 2021 resulting in 851 arrests.

A total of 376 investigation papers were opened in the first four months of 2022, resulting in 415 arrests.

Performance in the asset recovery process has also been steady, with a total of RM162 million in assets seized in 2021 and RM5.13 billion in forfeitures, he said.

In the first quarter of 2022, meanwhile, RM12.58 million in assets was been seized, and RM59 million in forfeitures.

In terms of 1MDB-related cases, Azam said MACC had succeeded in recovering RM14 billion in 2020 by way of compound and settlements, including the repatriation of criminal proceeds.

In 2021, another RM5.11 billion was recovered by way of settlement, he added.

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