April 5 — A SYNDICATE called “Project Cartel” which allegedly had exclusive rights to RM3.8 billion worth of government contracts was crippled yesterday with the arrest of seven suspects.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) sources told The Malaysian Insight the 47-year-old ring leader was among those arrested last night in a raid in the Klang Valley.

“The leader controlled more than 150 companies that applied to the ministries and agencies for projects. He owned the companies but hired company directors to serve a a front,” sources said.

They said the suspects were nabbed at a spot in the Klang Valley where they usually gathered to fill out the tender forms.

The syndicate worked on facility maintenance and development projects with the help of “insiders” to ensure only its companies were allowed to submit tenders and quotations.

A source said the cartel bribed these insiders to obtain information on specifications, ceiling prices, departmental prices, number of entries, company qualifications and the appropriate time to submit tender or quotation forms.

The “price siege” tactic was used to bid for tenders. The syndicate’s many companies would make various bids with the advantage of knowing the ceiling price of the tender.

“We found that the syndicate had used names of hundreds of individuals where each individual would be paid a monthly salary and commission as compensation for the use of their names and personal details,” he said.

The source said it was believed that the academic qualifications and professional qualifications of the individuals used to set up the company were also false.

It is learnt that each company had used false financial statements to apply for the tenders.

MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki confirmed the arrests, adding all suspects were today remanded for six days to assist in investigations.(The Malaysian Insight)


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