Wednesday, July 1, 2015

NOW claims Mara overpaid for another property

12:46PM Jul 1, 2015
By Koh Jun Lin
National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) has accused Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) of having acquired a third property in Melbourne at an inflated price.

This, said NOW, further lends credence to claims that those behind the deal had committed criminal breach of trust (CBT).

At a press conference today, NOW director Akmal Nasir said the Quintessential Group of Companies (QGC) had sold the property at 51, Queen Street, to an unnamed party in 2013.

QGC had bought the property at A$8.2 million in 2010 and sold it for A$16.65 million (RM48.14 million) in January 2013, after renovations.

This was documented on QGC's website, except for the date of the transaction, which Akmal said was based on unofficial sources.

He said NOW had sighted leaked documents from Mara that showed the Mara Council had approved the purchase of the property on Feb 21, 2013. The property was formally acquired on March 29 that year at A$22 million (RM66.61 million).

Copies of the relevant page from the document had been distributed to the press during NOW's press conference yesterday.

'This means an overpayment of RM15.5 million'

This means that A$5.35 million (RM15.47 million) was "overpaid", said Akmal.

Therefore, the total alleged overpayment by Mara to acquire Dudley International House, 51, Queen Street, and 333, Exhibition Street by Mara amounted to AUD19.1 million (RM55.22 million), or RM66.2 million based on exchange rates at the time, he said.

"Based on the evidence exposed so far, it shows that there is a systematic modus operandi and NOW is convinced that there are elements of criminal breach of trust.

"The police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should cease any form of dilly-dallying and expedite investigations on this issue, in line with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's commitment that a thorough investigation is being done," he said.

Akmal urged Mara chairperson Annuar Musa (photo) to answer whether another of Mara's property, at 746, Swanston Street, Melbourne, was also bought at above market price.

[More to follow]
~ Malaysiakini

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