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MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya says her men arrested a former state customs director in Kelantan. - NSTP/File pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has started cracking down on illegal logging, mining and smuggling activities in the country with the arrest of three people including a former state Customs Department director.

The arrests of the three were made on the same day the graft-busters announced an all-out war to wipe out corruption related to illegal logging and mining activities in the county yesterday.

MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said her men arrested the former state customs director in Kelantan.

The other two suspects, she said, were picked up at a hotel in Genting Highlands on the same day.

"I had recently announced that MACC will be cracking down on corruption involving illegal logging, illegal mining and smuggling.

“A substantial amount of cash monies was also seized during the arrests,” she said in a statement today.

The commission has also obtained a remand order from the Kota Baru magistrate’s court in Kelantan this morning to detain the trio for five days beginning today to assist in the investigation into the case.

“MACC has also frozen the accounts of the said suspects, other individuals and related entities. In all, the accounts of 20 individuals and four entities have been frozen,” she said.

During a media dialogue in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah yesterday, Latheefa announced that MACC will combat corruption at all cost, even in relation to illegal logging and mining activities since environmental issues involved public interest.

She said the commission was in the process of formulating strategies which involve more sophisticated methods since some perpetrators have become too comfortable carrying out illegal logging and mining activities.

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