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Malaysian top cop in corruption probe
Published:  Oct 31, 2007 12:08 AM
Updated: Jan 29, 2008 10:21 AM

One of Malaysia's top police chiefs has admitted he is under investigation in an 8.1-million-dollar corruption probe, but denied allegations of impropriety.

Ramli Yusoff, director of the federal commercial crime investigation unit, said he did not have the money and was being treated unfairly.

Media reports have circulated for months that Malaysia's Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) was investigating a senior officer for abuse of power and failure to declare assets worth up to 27 million ringgit.

However Ramli's comments at a press conference Tuesday were the first time the official concerned has been identified.

"I do not have 27 million ringgit (8.1 million dollar) as alleged by several newspapers," he was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper Wednesday.

It is rare in Malaysia for such a senior official to be investigated by the ACA.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was elected in 2004 by a landslide after an anti-graft campaign, but the opposition and anti-corruption watchdogs say improvement has been slow.

Ramli said the ACA had been unfair to him by leaking information about the probe into him to the press.

He said he had bought 800 acres (320 hectares) of land in the eastern Sabah state from the government -- a key part of the allegations -- but insisted it was all above board and that he and his staff were being victimised because of their actions against loan sharks.