KUALA LUMPUR: The inspector-general of police says Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd can carry on with his duties as usual despite being under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over a bank account in Australia with nearly RM1 million in it.
Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the police had no right to terminate Najmuddin’s appointment since an internal investigation two years ago had cleared him of any wrongdoing.
“It’s their (MACC) right to investigate. I have no comment.
“This is not CID’s affair. The problem is the transactions which he didn’t know about.
“He entrusted a third party to make the transactions,” Fuzi said while attending a programme at the Bukit Aman police headquarters today.
Najmuddin was not present at the programme.
Fuzi said he had contacted the authorities in Australia regarding the freezing of Najmuddin’s bank account but had not yet received a response.
He said although Najmuddin wanted to get his money back, he had not acted on it due to the high legal costs in Australia.
“If you ask him (Najmuddin), he surely wants his money back. That is his right.
“The only thing is that, since it involves a foreign country, he thinks the costs of getting his money back may exceed the amount itself.”
Last Friday, Fuzi said an internal inquiry had cleared Najmuddin in 2016 after he produced documents showing that the funds in his Australian bank account were the proceeds from the sale of his house in Shah Alam valued at RM700,000 (A$260,770 based on the exchange rate at that time).
This was after the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported that Australian authorities had frozen close to RM1 million in a bank account belonging to Najmuddin.
The report said the Australian Federal Police (AFP) became suspicious after a “flurry of suspicious cash deposits” into Najmuddin’s Commonwealth Bank “Goal Saver” bank account, which had been lying dormant since it was opened in 2011.
“There does not appear to be any apparent lawful reason for the form and manner of the deposits,” an Australian police officer said in an affidavit to apply for the account to be frozen.
The report said deposits below A$10,000 had started coming in a week after Najmuddin visited Australia in 2016.
The account balance quickly grew by nearly A$290,000, to A$320,000 (RM972,000) in a month, leading authorities to suspect that the money was proceeds from crime and money laundering.
SMH also reported that Najmuddin told the newspaper the money was meant to pay for his daughter’s master’s degree studies, and was arranged by a “close friend in Malaysia”.
“I’ve given my explanation,” he was quoted as saying. “My department wrote a letter to the AFP.”
Today, The Sun quoted MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Azam Baki as saying that the agency began its investigation following a report lodged by an unidentified whistleblower yesterday.
On another matter, Fuzi said the government would decide on a successor to Noor Rashid Ibrahim who is retiring as deputy IGP in two weeks’ time.
“We will wait for the government’s decision which should be soon. There is no hint of who it will be,” he said.