Rafizi: Minister’s spouse involved in LCS scandal

Abdul Latiff’s 2nd wife Zainab was the shareholder of 2 offshore companies involved in the multi-billion LCS project, says PKR deputy president

by ANIS HAZIM / pic by Bernama 

PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli has named the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad’s spouse in the littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal.

In a Facebook post today, Rafizi said Abdul Latiff’s second wife Zainab Mohd Salleh was the shareholder of two offshore companies involved in the multi-billion LCS project.

“A check with the Paradise Papers database confirmed the existence of a company, Alizes Marine Ltd (registered in Malta), owned by a woman named Zainab.

“Zainab is also a shareholder of another offshore company established in Malta called Intralogistics Ltd. This company holds shares in Alizes Marine Labuan,” he said.

The former Pandan MP exposed that both Alizes Marine in Malta and Labuan were involved in the embezzlement of the LCS warship funds.

“The embezzlement came in several forms. Firstly, the companies were appointed as the technical consultants to the project (although they had no expertise) on the matter,” he wrote.

Rafizi said RM23.37 million was embezzled at the beginning of the project between 2011 and 2014.

“Secondly, Alizes Marine was appointed as a spare parts supplier for the LCS project.

“The appointment was based on false information that the companies had a licence from the French government to be a global exporter of defence spare parts,” he added.

He claimed that the LCS project paid around RM210 million for replacement equipment which was supposedly supplied by a French company but the payments were diverted to fake companies established in Malta and Labuan.

To note, the project took place when Abdul Latiff was the deputy defence minister from 2008 to 2013 under former Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“My review shows that this scheme of diverting public funds from LCS projects has been in place for many years and is full of planning.

“I can also confirm that there are various other forms of defence contracts involving Latiff Ahmad and that LCS is not the only project involving companies related to him,” he added.

Rafizi also hoped that his revelation “shuts the mouths of Umno and Barisan Nasional” who tried to blame the navy retirees for the scandal.

“A scandal of this magnitude cannot happen without masterminds from among the Umno leadership who made big decisions at that time, while the retired navy personnel only conspired to carry out the malpractices,” he further said.

Rafizi is currently awaiting a response from Umno, PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia leaders in the current federal government on this exposure.

Meanwhile, Abdul Latiff said the woman in question was not his wife.

Responding to the expose, Abdul Latiff denied that Zainab was his spouse as stated by Rafizi.

“As a Cabinet member, I am prepared to fully cooperate should the authorities wish to investigate further,” he said in a statement today.