Isa Samad detained over FIC’s hotel deals

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic by BERNAMA

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday detained Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad to facilitate the investigation on the purchase of two hotels by Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd (FIC).

The former chairman of Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) was detained after he gave his statement at the MACC’s headquarters in Putrajaya.

FIC, Felda’s investment arm, is embroiled in a massive investigation over allegations of overpriced purchases of two hotels — in London and Kuching, Sarawak. Mohd Isa was FIC’s former chairman.

MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Azam Baki confirmed the arrest, according to a Bernama report.

“Based on these statements from witnesses, MACC is confident that it has a strong basis to make the arrest to help us conclude our investigation into the case,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Mohd Isa was detained at 4.24pm yesterday after giving his statement for two hours to MACC investigators. MACC is expected to seek a remand order today.

The arrest of the former Negri Sembilan mentri besar came after several individuals related to FIC’s London and Kuching hotel purchases were arrested by the agency in the last few weeks.

Former FIC CEO Zaid Abdul Jalil and Mohd Isa’s former aide Muhammad Zahid Md Arip had also been remanded to help in the investigation. FIC’s directors and lawyers who were connected to the deals had also been summoned to assist in the investigation.

FIC had purchased a four-star hotel in Kensington, London, for RM330 million, higher than the purported actual value of RM110 million. FIC also paid RM160 million for the hotel in Kuching, allegedly higher than its estimated market value.

MACC initiated the probe on July 14, 2017, after it received new information regarding the purchase of the hotel in London. Mohd Isa launched the hotel in December 2014. MACC said the alleged purchase of the hotel in London had resulted in millions of losses.

MACC has not issued any statement at press time.