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Thursday, December 29, 2016

More individuals to be charged in Sabah Watergate money-laundering case

KOTA KINABALU - More individuals are expected to be charged in connection to the Sabah Water Department graft scandal, after three people were charged with money-laundering today.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said while he could not disclose the number of how many people would be hauled up next, he said the commission has submitted its case to the deputy public prosecutor, who will make the decision.

“Investigations are ongoing ... I would like to say we are speeding it up but there are a few cases which we need to discuss with the DPP.

So be patient and don't make any speculations,” he told reporters outside the district court here. To a question, he said there are no high-profile individuals in the list of people they are recommending to be charged.

“The investigation is being led by (MACC intelligence director) Datuk Hishamuddin Hashim. We have to investigate more on maintenance works and such. Then we will see if there is a case or not.

“MACC, with the cooperation of the state government, is also looking at loopholes in the system or procedures; the state government has extended good cooperation to us to solve this matter based on what we found in the investigation, but this too will take time,” he added.

This morning, ex-Sabah Water Department director Awang Mohd Tahir Mohd Talib, 54; and his wife Fauziah Piut, 51, were charged with a total of 32 counts of money-laundering between them, amounting to RM56.9 million and RM2.2 million, respectively.

The duo pleaded not guilty to all charges. Also charged was the department’s former deputy director Lim Lam Beng, who pleaded not guilty to four money-laundering charges involving RM2.38 million.

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