The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is believed to have identified at least five ministry officers in cahoots with 10 companies to embezzle funds of up to RM100 million.
“They have been doing it for a few years now, and were siphoning funds off numerous projects that never materialised.
“There are projects which were not carried out according to specifications. Cutbacks were done indiscriminately.
“This case is not just about stealing from funds that were supposed to go to infrastructure development.
"Even the food programme for poor students was not spared,” a source close to the ongoing MACC probes said, as reported by the New Straits Times today.
The sources also reportedly claimed that the scope of this case would put other major corruption scandals to shame.
This group of senior officials at an unnamed ministry are said to have cooperated with companies to embezzle allocations meant for government projects aimed at improving public welfare and infrastructure.
They would supposedly declare on paper that projects had been completed, even though nothing had been done.
“These involved tens of projects and initiatives that were supposed to be implemented to help the poor, including those that cost between RM500 million and RM1 billion,” said sources familiar with the matter.
As such, the sources said, they would have easily embezzled some RM100 million.
It was also said that the MACC had been probing this case for more than a year, but was hindered by the lack of paper trails as well as the individuals involved covering up for each other.
However, Bank Negara Malaysia’s Suspicious Transaction Report alert system was reportedly triggered by movements of significant amounts of monies in accounts traced to the suspects.
Though MACC had identified 10 companies working with the ministry officers so far, the sources said the number could increase further as investigations are ongoing.
The MACC is said to be investigating this case under the MACC Act 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.