MELAKA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) may arrest several more people as it widens its investigations into a corruption case involving RM2.54 million worth of fertiliser.
Sources said the arrests may include those who purchased the fertiliser from the main suspect in the case.
This comes after the man, a 38-year-old Melaka Area Farmers’ Organisation (PPK) project manager, was remanded for six days at the Melaka Court Complex here today.
The man who was nabbed at the State Farmers’ Organisation Authority Office in Jalan Hang Tuah about 3pm yesterday, was remanded to assist investigations involving the misappropriation of RM2.54 million from the Federal Government Padi Fertilisation Scheme since the beginning of last year.
The suspect was believed to have submitted 23 false claims amounting to RM2.54 million involving 56,700 fertiliser bags last year, which had not been approved by the Melaka PPK’s Screening Board.
It is understood that the fertiliser should be claimed by the PPK on behalf of farmers in the padi farming sector who participated in the scheme, and distributed to them.
However, the suspect is believed to have resold the fertiliser for personal gain.
According to sources, the fertiliser misappropriated by the man from the scheme was sold at a much lower price than the market price.
It was said that the man also used part of the fertiliser on 22ha of padi field which he had leased.
The man was also said to have sold the fertiliser for as low as RM10 a bag to a middleman before they were sold to farmers at higher prices.
A source said the middleman also profited from the sale of the fertilisers as the high quality fertiliser has a huge demand and could be sold at between RM40 and RM60 a bag in the market.
The irregularities not only hurt the government but also the farmers who are supposed to benefit from the fertiliser scheme.
MACC Investigations director Datuk Simi Abdul Ghani said the commission took a serious view on the issue of irregularities as government assistance did not reach targeted groups.
He added that the MACC did not rule out the possibility of making a few more arrests on this case.