Business

Anti-graft officers raid Felda HQ

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian anti-graft investigators began collecting documents at the headquarters of Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGV) yesterday in their probe of corruption and abuse of power at the world's third-largest palm oil company.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is looking into several officials at FGV, following the suspension of the firm's chief executive officer, chief financial officer and two other executives earlier this week.

A MACC spokesman said the anti-graft agency was at FGV's offices in Kuala Lumpur "to collect supporting documents" following a meeting with FGV chief executive Zakaria Arshad on Wednesday.

The investigators could also seize laptops and computers, he said, declining to give details on what was discussed with Mr Zakaria.

An FGV source, requesting anonymity, said MACC officials also want to meet chairman Mohd Isa Abdul Samad at the company's offices. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Isa said he was willing to meet the anti-corruption investigators if asked.

He added that FGV was continuing its own investigation into a transaction with a subsidiary that led to the suspensions of the FGV executives.

Mr Isa was a former chief minister of Negeri Sembilan state and a former vice-president of Malaysia's ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's office stepped into the boardroom spat on Wednesday, asking a former cabinet minister to look into the suspension of FGV's top executives.

The FGV crisis unfolded on Tuesday when Mr Zakaria's letter to the chairman, stating his refusal to step down as instructed by the chairman, was leaked. FGV's board then suspended Mr Zakaria and three others.

The chief executive has denied wrongdoing and called on MACC to conduct its own investigation into FGV, but did not provide any details. - REUTERS

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