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JOHOR BAHRU – Johor state executive council member (exco) Datuk Abd Latiff Bandi and a property consultant were charged in the Sessions Court here today with 33 counts of corruption, involving RM30.3 million.

Abd Laiff, 51, and Amir Shariffuddin Abd Raub, 44, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges before Judge Mohd Fauzi Mohd Nasir.

Abd Latif was charged with conspiring with Amir to receive bribes from several individuals as inducement to obtain approval for release of certain number of Bumiputera housing lots to the public, as well as to reduce payment in contribution to the Johor Housing Fund for the Pulai Eco Botanic project.

Amir was charged with obtaining bribes from several individuals as gratuity for himself and Abd Latif for the same purpose. – BERNAMA

JOHOR BAHRU – The magistrate’s court has granted a seven-day remand order against Johor executive councillor Datuk Abd Latif Bandi.

Senior registrar Nur Surehan Abdul Rahman granted the remand application submitted by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Deputy Public Prosecutor Khazrin Hafiz Khalil.

The remand period for Abd Latif who was arrested on Thursday in relation to the sale and purchase of land and property in Johor Baru expires on March 16.

Abd Latif who was clad in an orange MACC lock-up t-shirt, was brought to the Johor Baru court escorted by MACC officers at about 10.14am.

About ten supporters shouted “Allahu Akbar” several times as he was brought to the lift area in the building.

Abd Latif, 51, smiled in acknowledgement to his supporters.

In a statement yesterday, MACC said Abd Latif was arrested at 10.50am at the Johor MACC office.

“The case is being investigated under Section 17 (a) MACC Act 2009 for graft and Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amlatfpuaa) 2001 for money laundering,” MACC added in the statement.

Earlier Abd Latif, who was the Johor housing and local government committee chairman, had decided to go on leave pending investigations into the case involving the reduction of premium for land approved for housing and industrial projects as well as conversion of the status of various premises in the state.

On Feb 24, MACC had arrested Abd Latif’s son and special officer along with four others over the land and property scandal in the state.

In addition the enforcement body also froze 45 bank accounts valued at RM15.5 million and seized 21 luxury cars, five high-powered motorcycles, RM500,000 in cash including foreign currencies as well as documents to assist in the investigations. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Johor executive councillor Datuk Abdul Latif Bandi has been arrested over the controversial massive housing and land scandal in the state.

Abdul Latif was detained at about 11am on Thursday at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Johor Baru when he was summoned there for questioning.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad confirmed the arrest at Menara Star here.

He was here with a team of senior MACC officers for a courtesy visit as part of an engagement programme with the media.

Abdul Latif was the Johor Housing and Local Government Committee chairman and had opted to go on leave pending an investigation into the case.

Last week, the state exco member’s son and his special officer were detained by the MACC in a swoop.

Abdul Latif had kept mum on the matter and had not been seen in public since then.

About RM15mil in more than 45 accounts had been frozen as part of the probe.

Also seized were 21 luxury cars and five high-powered motorcycles.

A lawyer, two developers and another suspect were also arrested in a series of raids that day.

They were all released from remand.

MACC has so far called in 15 people to have their statements recorded. – The Star