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Another $177,000 found in top official's house in corruption probe

PETALING JAYA Foreign currencies worth about RM550,000 (S$177,000) were sezied in the house of Rural and Regional Development Ministry secretary-general Mohd Arif Ab Rahman by a team of graft-busters in a follow-up visit.

The currencies were initially in the room of Mohd Arif's wife before they were taken out and kept in their maid's room for "safekeeping".

Mohd Arif's house in USJ 3, Subang Jaya, is a double-storey terrace corner lot with at least eight rooms.

A source told The Star Online: "We believe the currencies were taken out by the suspect's fourth son with the intention to smuggle them out to a relative's house later.

"But a team from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) visited the house again on Saturday to conduct further checks and stumbled upon the hidden cash."

A statement has been recorded from the suspect's fourth son, who is in his 20s, on the seizure of cash to assist in investigations.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Azam Baki confirmed the latest seizure.

Last Wednesday, the MACC arrested Mohd Arif at his home just as he was about to leave for work.

Two sons, aged 29 and 34, were also arrested at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya after they were called in for questioning. All three have been remanded until Jan 11 to help with the probe.

Officers who had earlier conducted a 12-hour search at Mohd Arif's house found gold bars and foreign currencies, estimated at RM3 million, and 150 luxury handbags and branded watches.

In a follow-up bust, another RM2.6 million worth of gold bars and cash were also confiscated from safe deposit boxes in several banks. - THE STAR

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