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KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) detained eight individuals for accepting bribes of almost RM2 million from a syndicate that sold land belonging to the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) in Melaka.

A source from the MACC said the eight individuals detained were from Kuala Lumpur and Sabah, aged between 20 and 50, comprising brokers, members of the public, bank officers and a company director.

“Three brokers and two members of the public were detained in Kuala Lumpur while two bank officers and a company director were detained in Sabah between 6pm yesterday and 1am today when they arrived at the Kuala Lumpur MACC office and Sabah MACC office respectively to give their statements.

“A seven-day remand order (until June 17) was issued for five individuals from the Magistrates Court in Kuala Lumpur by Magistrate Lili Marisqa Khalizan while a six-day remand order was issued for three individuals by Magistrate Wan Farrah Afriza Wan Ghazali from the Magistrate Court in Kota Kinabalu,” he said in the statement today.

According to the source, three brokers, the company director and two members of the public who had acted as middle men, gave almost RM2 million to the two bank officers as an inducement to approve the opening of bank accounts that were registered under the Felda name.

“The bank accounts were opened with the help of the officers under Felda’s name so that buyers would believe the land deals were genuine and thus make their payments into the accounts,” said the source.

The action of the bank officers to associate themselves with the syndicate, saw the sale of 260 hectares of Felda land worth RM400 million in Bukit Katil, Melaka back in 2023.

The source added that the MACC also freezed almost 200 bank accounts owned by the individuals and company, worth RM28 million.

Meanwhile, the director of MACC’s Anti-Money Laundering Division, Datuk Mohamad Zamri Zainul Abidin when contacted confirmed the arrests and stated that the case would be investigated under Section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act 2009, and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA).