MACC suspects hawala system used in abuse of VLN approvals

PUTRAJAYA – Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki revealed today that the hawala system was used in corruption cases linked to the Foreign Visa System (VLN) approval for Bangladeshi nationals entering Malaysia.

Azam said that the MACC was still tracking several transactions suspected to be payments to obtain tourist visas that are misused to enter the country.

“We also suspect a large sum of money has been channelled through the hawala system to several places,” he said at a media conference after the launch of body cameras and MACC jackets here today.

Hawala is a system of money transfers using an ‘underground’ method that does not involve official banking or financial systems, while the VLN is a social visit visa for foreign tourists to enter Malaysia for a certain period of time, but Bangladesh nationals are only permitted to be in Malaysia for a period of 30 days and are not qualified to register for a work permit.

He added that further investigations by the MACC had revealed that the surplus of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia was a result of the abuse of the VLN, an issue that was covered widely by media outlets since April after two Immigration officers who were temporarily assigned to the Malaysian High Commission in Dhaka, Bangladesh were detained.

Azam also touched on the rare earth element (REE) theft in Kedah, stating that four individuals have been arrested and that the MACC would be calling more witnesses for further investigation.

The commission was not just investigating the financial issue, but also the compliance of the REE approvals, he said. – BERNAMA / pic credit: