KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said it will be confiscating all existing bauxite stockpiles in Pahang to aid in its investigations into illegal mining of the ore that is the main source of aluminium.
MACC operations chief Datuk Azam Baki estimates there are over 10 million metric tonnes of mined and stockpiled bauxite at several locations in Pahang, including both those on government land as well as private premises.
“The MACC will impound all bauxite stockpiles in Pahang to prevent its removal for commercial and other purposes,” he said in a statement today.
“This seizure must be done to help the MACC investigate the issue of illegal bauxite mining. MACC will also monitor bauxite exports at the Kuantan Port,” he added.
Section 33 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 empowers the commission’s officers ranked assistant supervisors and above to seize as evidence, any movable property suspected of relation to an offence.
The general penalty for those who violate the order is a maximum jail term of two years, a fine of up to RM10,000, or both.
Azam also said the MACC has held talks with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to propose a review of issuing Approved Permits (APs) to bauxite miners, and also to cancel all previous APs.
The MACC has carried out a dragnet and detained 11 people, including a senior Customs officer and a worker at the Pahang Land and Mines Office suspected of leaking information, in its investigation on illegal mining.
The suspects were detained in special operations conducted by MACC following the discovery of ongoing illegal bauxite mining activities in Bukit Goh and Bukit Sagu in Kuantan, Pahang despite the government freeze on mining until December 31.