MACC moves in on RM263.5mil telco bribery probe

By Lourdes Charles, The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers have seized several documents and files from both Telekom Malaysia (TM) and a company linked to Alcatel Lucent (ALU) in connection with alleged bribes that led to the award of a US$85mil (RM263.5mil) contract several years ago.

Sources familiar with the investigation said the officers seized the files while recording statements from several TM and ALU staff.

“At least three more ALU staff members are expected to be interviewed within the next 24 hours,” they said.

They also said initial investigations showed no top TM executive was involved in any shady dealing and that others could have had a hand in the matter.

They said the investigations would take time as the MACC was looking at all transactions, including TM’s system and procedures in calling for tenders.

It is learnt that at least three MACC officers met with a top ALU team comprising its country head and officials from the finance and legal departments.

They were at the ALU office in Wisma Denmark here on Tuesday and Wednesday, and left with several boxes of documents, a source said.

The MACC started investigations when the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department fined ALU US$137mil (RM420.6mil) for a global bribery case.

Two Malaysians were alleged to have received kickbacks amounting to some US$700,000 (RM2.1mil) for their alleged part in assisting ALU obtain the contract.

Following the revelation, both TM and Axiata Group Bhd jointly appointed KPMG Corporate Services Sdn Bhd as forensic accountants to help in an internal probe.