Friday, December 17, 2010

Culprits in Sime's RM2.1bil loses to face full brunt of the law

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has found several “elements of fraud” in Sime Darby Berhad and has shared its findings with police and the Companies Commission (SSM) for them to initiate action.
The MACC, together with the Securities Com­mission (SC), made the conclusion after reviewing reports submitted by Sime Darby’s Investigative Reports Review Committee over its RM2.1bil losses.
In revealing this, MACC special operations director Datuk Mohd Jamidan Abdullah told The Star yesterday that Sime Darby was found to have breached several provisions under the Penal Code, the Companies Act and the Anti-Corruption Act 2009.
“We convened a meeting with the police and SSM earlier this week to share our findings (of fraud) and we also handed over the (Sime Darby’s) reports to the two authorities.
“With the report, police can look into breaches committed under the Penal Code while SSM can investigate Companies Act violations.
“As far as MACC is concerned, investigations into the alleged corruption in the company are on-going and we are trying to speed up investigations,” he said.
Mohd Jamidan, however, was tight-lipped about the status of the MACC’s investigations.
In a joint statement, the MACC and the SC said they had completed reviewing the reports submitted by Sime Darby’s forensic and legal consultants involving four key projects in Sime Darby’s energy and utilities division – the Qatar Petroleum Project, the Maersk Oil Qatar Project, the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam Project and the Marine Project.
“The MACC and the SC have identified the breaches of relevant laws arising from the information disclosed in the reports.
“The relevant reports were also handed over to the police and SSM for further action with regard to breaches that fall within their respective jurisdiction.
“Where offences straddle several jurisdictions, the enforcement bodies will work together to ensure that investigations undertaken are thorough and holistic.”
It said the SC had also initiated investigations into potential breaches of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.
The statement also said that the SC and Bursa Malaysia had worked closely to identify the various breaches of the Listing Requirements and the SC would be issuing show-cause letters to certain individuals
Sime Darby suffered RM2.1bil in losses in its energy and utilities division in the financial year ended June 30, resulting in group chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid being asked to take a leave of absence.
The conglomerate announced on Nov 16 that it would initiate legal proceedings by year-end to recover the losses it suffered.
This is not the first time the anti-graft body has investigated a government-linked company. In 1996, it launched investigations into Perwaja Steel after it was declared insolvent, with losses up to RM10bil.

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