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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Four men involved in "bribes for loans" scandal freed on bail for now

KOTA KINABALU - A fourth suspect said to be a ‘link man’ in a “bribes for loans” scandal involving the Sabah Development Bank, was arrested at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport last Friday as he tried to leave the state.

The man, a former employee of the bank was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission here and was released on bail Wednesday after his statement was taken down.

He was the fourth person to be arrested for their alleged involvement in an RM2mil bribe for the approval of a loan worth RM150mil.

Three people, two bank staff and a former employee, were arrested last week, while the MACC also recorded a stated from the Chief Executive Officer of the said bank.

It was learned that over 20 bank accounts with some RM12mil, belonging to a top executive, his spouse, and some of those arrested have been frozen by the MACC pending investigations.

The MACC had also seized some RM200,000 in various currencies and luxury vehicles were seized following the arrests.

MACC Sabah director Datuk Shaharom Nizam Abdul Manaf has confirmed that the four people arrested for their alleged role in the scandal have been released on bail.

He said the MACC still needed to record a few more statements before they wrap their investigations into the allegations of “bribes for loan” approval.

“Once completed, we will pass our investigation papers to the deputy public prosecutor to decide,'' he said.

Two bank officers - a 49-year-old and a 37-year-old - as well as a 44-year -old ‘financial consultant’ who was also a former bank officer, were arrested on Mar 7 and 8. They were released over the weekend.

Investigators suspect that former staff acted as middlemen through front companies to get loan approvals after the application is initially rejected.

By Peter Adrian

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