KUALA LUMPUR: At least RM15.86mil in funds have been frozen in connection with a probe into misappropriation of funds involving Aman Palestin Bhd.
In a statement Thursday (Nov 23), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said it had frozen the funds which were in 41 bank accounts.
“The MACC has taken statements from important witnesses and the preliminary investigation has identified several issues involving the misappropriation of funds estimated at about RM70mil.
“The funds were allegedly diverted for purposes other than the objectives behind the establishment of the company,” it said.
It added that the probe into Aman Palestin has been going on since Oct 17 in connection with alleged irregularities over its fundraising activities.
“A total of 41 bank accounts of the company have been frozen, amounting to RM15,868,762, yesterday,” the statement read.
MACC has also conducted a search at Aman Palestin’s premises and obtained financial and operational management documents for the past five years.
It said the investigation was conducted to obtain information regarding offences under the MACC Act 2009, the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 and the Penal Code (Act 574).
Early this month MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said a large number of documents, including bank reports, were obtained from Aman Palestin and his officers need some time to look through the books.
He was reported as saying that their forensic officers were looking into the details of the reports especially from 2020 to 2022.
He also said that so far, the MACC is only investigating Aman Palestin.
The MACC had initiated a probe into the non-governmental organisation in October, following a report by a news portal that many stakeholders were dissatisfied with Aman Palestin’s approach to overseeing donation collections.
According to reports, Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, through a letter dated Aug 24, had instructed the Perlis State Islamic Religious Department not to permit the collection of funds by Aman Palestin in places of worship within the state.
He had expressed reservations about Aman Palestin’s collection and distribution of funds, calling for more transparency on the matter.
Subsequently, the state religious authority suspended fund collections by Aman Palestin in Perlis pending the completion of a probe.
Aman Palestin has said that it pledged to extend full cooperation to the MACC over a probe into alleged irregularities over its fundraising activities.