Ex-Mara Inc chairman charged over Aussie property scandal

Former Mara Inc chairman Mohamad Lan Allani at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Mara Incorporated (Mara Inc) chairman Mohammad Lan Allani has pleaded not guilty to 22 charges of corruption and money laundering in relation to a property scandal in Australia.

Lan Allani, 65, was charged today at two separate Sessions Courts here before judges Azura Alwi dan Rozina Ayob with 20 counts of corruption and two counts of money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla) 2001.

The courts set April 8 for the hearing and granted Lan Allani RM400,000 bail.

Lan Allani was represented by lawyer Hisyam Teh while the prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib. Lan Allani was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at its headquarters on Wednesday.

The scandal involves Mara’s purchase of a multi-million dollar apartment complex, called Dudley House, in Melbourne, Australia, in 2013.

In July, Australian authorities charged a man, Teen Boon Lye, with bribing a Malaysian official to secure the sale of the building.

According to a report by Sydney Morning Herald, Teen was charged on July 9, some five years after an expose which revealed the price of the property had been inflated by A$4.75 million (RM14.4 million) to provide kickbacks to a group of Malaysian officials.

When news of the scandal first broke in 2015, Mara suspended Lan Allani and then Mara Inc CEO Abd Halim Rahim pending investigations.

In November that year, then rural and regional development minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the duo would no longer be serving the agency.

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