KUANTAN: It was an alleged illicit arrangement between a Jerantut Forestry Department officer and four others that facilitated illegal logging in Jerantut district, causing the Pahang government to lose millions of ringgit since 2015.
The officer, his wife, a forest ranger and the owner and manager of a logging firm were allegedly involved in the taking and giving of kickbacks to shield the illegal activities from the authorities.
It came to an end when they were detained at their homes and workplace in Jerantut yesterday, and broguth before a magistrate at the Kuantan Courts Complex here today to be remanded as part of a graft probe.
The five, clad in bright orange Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) lockup uniform, covered their faces with their hands as they were escorted by MACC officers to the remand hearing.
Magistrate Tengku Eliana Tuan Kamaruzaman ordered that they be be remanded for six days from today to assist investigations under Sections 17 (a) and 16 (a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009.
This was confirmed by MACC deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Fadhly Mohd Zamry, who was at the hearing.
“They are suspected of being involved in receiving and giving bribes linked to illegal logging, which led to losses of millions of ringgit (for the state government),” he said, adding that the remand ended on Sunday.
The five were represented by lawyer Hon Kai Ping.
Yesterday, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki confirmed the arrests, which took place in Pahang and Terengganu, where the commission picked up four others over suspected graft linked to illegal logging.
“MACC views the matter seriously as it has caused environmental destruction. The commission will take appropriate action against those responsible.”