In what is the biggest cash haul in its history, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) seized cash close to RM53 million (US$12.8 million) from a director and his deputy of a Sabah-based utility company.

MACC's deputy chief commissioner operations Azam Baki also said they also seized nine luxury cars including a Range Rover, an Audi, a BMW, a Ford Ranger, a Mercedes Benz, a Mazda, a BMW, a Lexus, and a Volvo. Also seized were branded watches, 127 land grants and 94 handbags from the wives of the suspects.

“The money was seized from the office and their house,” Azam said in a statement today.

“Following the director and the deputy director's arrest, the MACC also arrested two individuals including the younger sibling of the deputy director who is a datuk, and an accountant who works with the datuk.

“Besides the cash, we have seized several accounts owned by the director, the deputy director and datuk estimated to be worth RM62 million. The MACC believes that the suspects also have cash in several banks overseas,” he added.

Azam added that all four suspects have been remanded seven days beginning today.

The new deputy chief commissioner said the state director and his deputy is believed to have handled basic infrastructure projects to the worth of RM3.3 billion since 2010, and this was handed to their siblings.

“A total of RM45 million was seized from the director while another RM7.2 million was seized from the deputy.”

Azam added that the MACC also opened one of the six safety deposit boxes owned by the deputy director and found it to contain RM2.5 million.

The other safety boxes, he said would be opened soon.

He also said this was a proactive action in line with the warning by the MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad who has warned those involved in corruption especially public officers, to cease their illegal activities.

Cash in cabinet photo unrelated to case

The photos of cash kept in a cabinet circulating online is unrelated to a graft case where RM3 million was seized from a government-linked company (GLC) officer's home, MACC sources said.

The photos were of stacks of RM50 and RM100 notes in a nondescript office cabinet.

It was claimed that the picture was of the cash seized from the home of a Sabah GLC officer but MACC sources denied this, the Oriental Daily reported.

MACC also arrested two senior officers of a government agency in Kota Kinabalu for allegedly abusing their power in granting a project.

According to Bernama, RM3 million was kept in a safe in the office of one of the suspects.

The duo, aged 51 and 54, are suspected of having given RM3.3 billion worth of projects under the purview of their department, to relatives.

They are believed to have amassed more than RM50 million in wealth, Bernama reported.

MACC sources told Sinar Harian that one of the suspects also kept money at home in a "special room".

"There were also a range of jewelery and watches of various brands," he told the daily.

The News Lens has been authorized to repost this article. The piece was first published on Malaysiakini.

Edited by: Edward White