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Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission arrests ministry secretary general

Investigation underway into corruption, money laundering and abuse of power

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 11:21am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 11:24am

By Simon Khoo, Mazwin Nik Anis and Austin Camoens

Three months after trailing him, the Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) moved in and arrested Rural and Regional Development Ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohd Arif Ab Rahman at his home just as he was about to leave for work.

Gold bars, 150 luxury handbags, branded watches and foreign currencies were found after officers searched the property in USJ3, Subang Jaya, for 12 hours.

The gold bars and Australian and Euro currencies seized were estimated at RM3mil.

The designer handbags were from brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

Prices for some of these bags range from RM7,000 (US$1,559) to RM100,000 (US$22,276) each.

When contacted, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki confirmed the arrests of Mohd Arif, 59, and his 29-year-old son at their home.

He said the case was being investigated for abuse of power, corruption and money laundering.

The MACC is said to be investigating whe­ther all his overseas trips and other expenses incurred there were paid for by “certain individuals”.

A source said Mohd Arif just returned from a golfing trip to the United States.

“More suspects will be picked up soon to assist in the probe,” Azam said.

Mohd Arif and his son are expected to be remanded this morning.

It is understood that MACC is investigating 38 savings and current accounts and at least three safe deposit boxes in several banks in connection with the case.

The probe also covers several plots of lands.

The source said several documents from a lawyer’s office in Puchong related to the plots of land were also seized.

It is learnt that statements had also been recorded from Mohd Arif’s 57-year-old wife, his 32-year-old daughter and another son aged 34.

The couple has six children.

Attempts to contact Mohd Arif for comments were unsuccessful.

A visit to his double-storey terrace corner lot home showed that no one was present.

Three luxury cars were parked in the porch. The housing area is a gated and guarded community.

A Proton Perdana was parked in front of the house.

Mohd Arif was appointed to the ministry post on October 16, 2015. He also sits in the board of a government-linked company.

Prior to that, he also served as a secretary-general in another ministry and was a deputy secretary-general and state financial officer.

He joined the civil service in 1981 as an administrative and diplomatic officer and is a Universiti Malaya graduate.

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MACC arrests ministry sec-gen