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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

Felda subsidiary raided

KUALA LUMPUR: Three boxes of documents were carted away by anti-graft officers after they raided Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC) office in Balai Felda.

At least four key witnesses were also served with notices to appear at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis­sion (MACC) headquarters and give their statements today.

The operation, which lasted nearly eight hours, was a result of fresh leads obtained by the MACC in relation to the purchase of a high-end property in Kensington, London.

FIC, the investment arm of Felda, was said to have acquired the four-star hotel between 2013 and 2015 for a total of £60mil (RM330mil). Sources said the pro­perty was overpaid by at least £20mil (RM110mil).

Eight uniformed MACC officers were seen entering the FIC’s office in Jalan Gurney at 10.20am yesterday, sifting for information to assist them in the case.

They left with the documents at around 5.45pm in two cars.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said his officers would go through all the documents seized from the FIC office.

“We will start questioning key witnesses this week as part of our investigations,” he said.

The property, located at an upmarket Kensington area in London, was said to have been bought at a much higher price, resulting in huge losses.

Then Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, who opened the hotel in December 2014, said it was the 12th investment in Felda’s group hospitality portfolio.

The London property comprises 62 units of guestrooms and also two units of three-bedroom serviced apartment.

FIC was established in 2013 with a focus on real estate, hospitality and the oil and gas sectors.

In a statement, FIC said it would give full support and cooperate in the probe.

“FIC is committed to support efforts by the relevant parties to enhance transparency, accountability, integrity and ethical business practice as key features of good corporate governance,” it said.

Shortly after Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad became the Felda chairman in January, he said it was looking to hive off its overseas assets and hotels, including the Grand Plaza Kensington Hotel in London, poin­ting out that the returns from the hotel investment did not justify its stay in the industry.