Umno’s Ahmad Maslan insists did not take 1MDB funds

(MMO) – Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan maintained he did not receive any money related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

On his fine from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), he claimed this was over a cash cheque that did not bear his name and which he did not personally cash.

“Prior to this, I was shown a photocopied cash cheque by investigators which I had clarified that I have no knowledge of.

“This matter is not new as the recent investigations by authorities were the third time I have been called to answer to allegations of receiving 1MDB funds,” said Ahmad today.

“I have already been investigated twice by MACC and prior to that last year by Bukit Aman’s Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism (AMLA) unit under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.

“On both earlier occasions I had already signed a declaration to both the MACC and police confirming that I have no knowledge of the cash cheque,” said Ahmad, adding that he thought the matter had been settled then.

He said this during a special interview at the Tanjung Piai Umno division office here today.

Ahmad, who is also the Pontian MP, was explaining why he was among those to which the MACC issued compound notices for allegedly received money totalling RM420 million from 1MDB on Monday.

Ahmad also claimed that his case was different as the other recipients had their names or Umno division names on the cheque.

“I, on the other hand, was the only one allegedly receiving a cash cheque which I have no knowledge of, so how can they link me to the fund (1MDB)?” he asked, declining to state the amount he had allegedly received.

However, it was believed that Ahmad was alleged to have received more than RM500,000 as MACC yesterday announced that it will execute phase three of its move to recover 1MDB funds from recipients with a value of below RM500,000.

Ahmad said that it was unfortunate that as the former deputy finance minister who had pushed for the amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 in the Dewan Rakyat, he is now under probe.

“Sadly I now find myself being investigated under the same law that I pushed for,” he quipped in a light-hearted manner.

On the penalty for the MACC notice as announced by MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya on Monday, Ahmad questioned the amount.

He said it was strange as it has never been put at 2.5 times the value received.

“Basically, I have to be rational and I have already engaged with a lawyer to clear my name in this latest matter.

“I will also meet with the other Umno members who were served with MACC’s recent notices to discuss with our lawyers on the next step to take at the party’s headquarters in the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) tomorrow,” said Ahmad.

Last Monday, MACC issued compound notices to 80 individuals and entities who allegedly received money totalling RM420 million from 1MDB.

There were nine individuals on the list with former CIMB Bank chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, veteran Umno politician Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad and Ahmad being named.

Those who received the compound notices, issued under Section 92(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, were given two weeks to return the money.