PETALING JAYA : A cartel controlling over 150 companies which monopolised RM3.8 billion worth of government projects has been crippled by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) following the arrest of seven people.
According to a source in the know, the seven included the 47-year-old head of the syndicate.
“The syndicate’s boss controlled over 150 companies, and used them to submit tenders in ministries and agencies. The boss would hire others as directors for the companies.
“The cartel has been operating since 2014 and to date, has been awarded 345 tenders worth RM3.8 billion,” the source said.
It said the syndicate focused on maintenance and development projects.
“The syndicate is believed to have received help from ‘insiders’ in the ministries and agencies to ensure the tenders from the various companies were selected.”
The source said the cartel would bribe the “insiders” for information on the tenders, including job specifications, ceiling prices, qualification requirements and the “right time” to submit them.
A number of companies controlled by the cartel would then submit tenders with different bids, though still under the ceiling prices, to “corner the market”.
“The syndicate utilised hundreds of people to set up the companies, paying them monthly salaries and commission for the use of their names and details.”
The source said it is believed the academic and professional qualifications of these people were also false, including their so-called companies’ financial statements.
It said MACC had been monitoring the group and moved in late last night to arrest the suspects.
“They (suspects) had all gathered at their ‘operations base’ to fill new tender forms and were shocked when MACC came in,” the source added.
MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki confirmed the arrests and said the case was being investigated under Section 17 and 18 of the MACC Act 2009.
Azam did not rule out the possibility that more arrests would follow.
The suspects have been brought to the Putrajaya magistrates’ court for a remand order.
By : Robin Augustin – FMT