The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Thursday (10 December) reportedly detained five individuals, including two senior officials from the Marine Department, over unlawfully issuing approvals to companies shipping heavy grade oil (HGO) in Malaysian waters.
According to sources, the five individuals include a department deputy director-general, a department secretary and three directors of shipping companies.
The five individuals are aged between 35 and 54; they were arrested at the MACC headquarters when they arrived to provide their statements.
Allegedly, the two senior government officers were discovered to have issued exemption letters to selected companies to transport HGO in single hull vessels without prior approval from the Transport Minister.
In August, the Marine Department prohibited all single hull vessels from transporting oil as cargo regardless of the vessel’s age.
Since then, there have been numerous appeals from various shipping bodies. However, the issuance of these ‘exemption letters’ roused complaints from companies who had shifted to ‘double hull, double bottom’ vessels in order to comply with regulations.
The five are scheduled to be present at the Putrajaya Magistrate’s Court for remand under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The case is investigated under Section 17 of the MACC Act 2009.
Related: Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners against prohibiting single hull vessels carrying oil cargo
Related: Malaysia: MASA appeals to Minister of Transport to ‘refine and reconsider’ ban on single hull tankers
Related: Malaysia: Marine Department clarifies types of oil permitted as cargo on tankers
Photo credit: Tingey Injury Law Firm
Published: 11 December, 2020
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