Selangor Menteri Besar's nephew detained for graft and illegal sand mining

A nephew of Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali was among four men remanded for seven days, for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate claims that sand and gravel has been mined illegally in Kajang since 2014. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PUTRAJAYA - A nephew of Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali has been arrested along with three others for allegedly mining sand illegally and bribing the authorities to turn a blind eye to such activity.

The 34-year-old man, identified as Mohd Nuzul Fadli Mohd Noriyualsaid, was picked up with three businessmen aged between 41 and 67, at his residence in Jalan Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur at about 1pm on Wednesday (Nov 29).

"They are being detained to facilitate the investigation into illegal sand mining activities that have been taking place in Kajang since 2014," a source told The Straits Times. They will be remanded for seven days until Dec 6.

Two of the suspects are company directors and one is an employee of an advertising company.

The men are also being investigated for bribing local authorities to not take action against their mining business.

It is learnt that a team of investigators from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had raided Mohd Nuzul's residence following a tip-off from the public.

The agency also seized personal items at the premises and froze several bank accounts, with a total of RM4 million (S$1.3 million) in them .

A probe into the alleged activities was triggered after Mohd Nuzul was seen flaunting his wealth despite being unemployed.

Datuk Seri Azmin's office issued a statement on Thursday (Nov 30) regarding the arrest.

Strategic communications director from the Selangor Menteri Besar's office Yin Shao Loong said: "This administration has been informed that one of those arrested by the MACC over allegations of involvement in illegal sand mining activities is the nephew of the Selangor Menteri Besar."

While the state government did not dispute the agency's right to investigate, Mr Yin questioned how the information was leaked online even before the arrests were made. He said this clearly shows the existence of a conspiracy to tarnish the reputation of the Menteri Besar and the Selangor state government, which is led by federal opposition faction Parti Keadilan Rakyat, ahead of the country's next general election.

"The Selangor government holds steadfast to the principle of transparency in all its dealings to ensure the needs of the people and the state are prioritised," he said, urging that the matter should not be used as political fodder.

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