Selangor illegal sand mining probe: 'Mediator paid hefty kickback'December 2, 2017 @ 9:32AM
By HANI SHAMIRA SHAHRUDIN
HE was living a life of luxury, driving flashy cars and buying expensive items, including a big house, despite being unemployed. He even flaunted his wealth on social media.
Although he did not have a job, there was no doubt that the man was filthy rich.
Sources familiar with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigations into illegal sand mining in Selangor said the man was paid handsomely for his “services”.
They said he acted as a broker for contractors to get approvals from “higher authorities” in Selangor.
“The man was paid a substantial amount of money, which allowed him to live a life of luxury, just by being a ‘mediator’ for contractors in many projects in the state,” one source told the New Straits Times.
However, the sources whom the NST spoke to were reluctant to reveal more about the man, saying they did not want to jeopardise investigations.
MACC had detained and remanded four men to assist in investigations into illegal sand mining in Kajang.
Among them were the nephew of Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, a fact confirmed by the Menteri Besar’s Office.
Asked whether the “broker” was Azmin’s nephew, the sources declined to comment.
One source, however, said the man in question was the “youngest of the four” and “the one with the connections”.
The source said MACC believed that Kajang was not the only place where the man had brokered deals for companies to carry out sand mining.
“Investigators are looking at other places, all within Selangor, where such activities are believed to be going on.”
He added that since the four had been remanded, investigations would also look into whether other companies were involved.
The commission would look into those connected with the four people to probe further if there were any other graft activities involved.
“This weekend, investigators will continue to interrogate the four men, and by Monday, we will move in based on the information gathered,” he said.
Asked if more people would be picked up, the source said it would depend on the outcome of the investigations.
On Wednesday, an investigation launched by MACC revealed that a sand mining company, which had been operating since 2014, had allegedly bribed the officers of a local authority in Kajang.
This was to ensure that the officers did not take action against illegal sand mining.
Following the revelation, Azmin’s nephew and three other men — a company director, a site manager and an advertising agency employee — were arrested. MACC also froze RM4 million in the sand mining company’s bank account.