Latheefa maintains that individuals and entities named in compound notices can be charged in court under the AMLATFPUAA
by DASHVEEJIT KAUR/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will fight a legal challenge against its right to issue compounds to individuals and entities who have not return funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Chief commissioner Latheefa Koya (picture) said actions will also be taken upon individuals and entities who have not returned the monies despite being issued compound notices.
“Yes, MACC has been named as the respondent in several judicial review applications filed by some individuals who were among 80 individuals and entities who have received money laundered from 1MDB.
“The government through the Attorney General’s Chambers would fight these challenges,” she said in a media briefing after launching a play titled, “Semarak Pertiwiku” in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The play, according to Latheefa, is about a corruption scandal in a mega project and some “familiar characters” involved in graft practices will be depicted.
It has been reported that a few individuals and entities had challenged the notices issued by MACC to recover the funds they allegedly received from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak which originated from 1MDB.
Among the individuals and entities are former Federal Land Development Authority chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, former Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Mohd Sumaili Reduan, Penang Umno liason committee and Umno divisions from Batu, Indera Mahkota and Taiping.
Last month, separate applications for judicial review to challenge the compound notices was filed, naming Latheefa and the MACC as respondents.
Latheefa maintained that the individuals and entities named in compound notices could be charged in court under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Process of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA).
Latheefa, however, declined to reveal the names of those who had not paid their compounds, stressing that the commission will take further actions on them.
Last year, the anti-graft body issued 80 compound notices to individuals, foundations, companies and political parties, including prominent politicians, as the agency steps up efforts to recover RM420 million believed to have been laundered from 1MDB.
Those issued with notices included former Johor Baru MP Shahrir, Pontian MP Ahmad, former CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Nazir Razak and Tan Sri Mohamad Fatmi Che Salleh, Najib’s former political secretary.
Similar notices were also issued to political parties, a majority are Umno divisions and the party’s offices, as well as Barisan Nasional component parties.
Altogether, 43 notices were issued by the graft-buster to political parties closely linked to the former Umno president.
The recovery compounds were also issued to 23 companies, individuals (nine) and foundations or organisations (five).
They were given two weeks to pay up the amount stated in the compound notices. The fine will be as low as the amount they have received or as high as 2.5 times the amount they received.
When asked to comment on the reopening of more than 10 cold and closed corruption cases, including high-profile ones, Latheefa said she will not be able to reveal any details as it could jeopardise investigations.
She, however, said there were more than 10 cases of similar nature.
In December 2019, Latheefa said a high number of investigations had been closed after it was deemed that there was “no case”. She will be relooking into those cases and see if they were properly closed.