Gatco case: Middleman’s remand extended for 4 days

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PUTRAJAYA: The five-day remand on an intermediary who is being investigated for a case involving a land transaction in Kampung Serampang Indah, Jempol, Negeri Sembilan, formerly known as Ladang Gatco, was extended for another four days from today.

The extension applied by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was issued by magistrate Chyfica Mohamed Zamri.

The man, aged 69, was detained after giving his statement at the MACC headquarters here on Sept 19.

MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad was earlier reported to have said that the man was an important witness in the ownership transfer of the land concerned.

The case arose from dissatisfaction among Gatco settlers about the plantation being sold to Thamarai Holdings Sdn Bhd in 2007 for RM16 million when the value of the property they claimed was around RM500 million.

The original owner of the 2,000-hectare land was Syarikat Gula Negeri Sembilan. When the company wound up, the sugarcane plantation was taken over by the Negeri Sembilan Development Corporation (PKNNS) on a 99-year lease.

In 1977, PKNNS leased it to The Great Allonioners Trading Corporation Bhd (Gatco), which turned it into a settlement bringing in participants who were given a house lot and 10 acres for rubber planting with a payment of between RM4,000 and RM7,000 each.

But Gatco allegedly faced financial difficulties forcing it to abandon its rubber plantation project. The land was seized and offered for public auction in 2004 and bought by Thamarai Holdings in 2007.

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