Millions from scandal-hit MIC firm paid to Samy Vellu’s son, says report

MIC secretary-general Vell Paari. (File pic)

PETALING JAYA: A 30-year-old scandal involving an investment company has threatened to revisit Barisan Nasional’s MIC following a revelation that hundreds of thousands of ringgit was paid to the son of the party’s former strongman Samy Vellu between 2003 and 2009, according to Sarawak Report.

The website today published documents which it said showed how money, including in cash, was paid to companies connected to Vell Paari, the MIC secretary-general who was appointed as CEO of Maika Holdings, the brainchild of his father in the 1980s.

The company was set up in 1983 as an investment vehicle for MIC, raising RM106 million from some 66,400 members of the Indian community, mostly low-income earners. They were promised handsome profits but never got them, receiving only 80% of their original investment.

Sarawak Report cited a report lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission by a liquidator involved in the winding-up of the company, on payments made between 2003 and 2009.

“Twenty cash payments totalling RM1.6 million were made out by the company to Vell Paari during the period, some under the guise of ‘promotional finder fees’ but most without any explanation given,” the whistleblower site said.

The payments included RM33,500 to a law firm for what was said to be a private case linked to Vell Paari’s mother “over a matter that had nothing to do with the interests of the ordinary shareholders of Maika Holdings”, the report said.

Another RM1.3 million went to an Australian company owned by Vell Paari’s family, which the report said was in trouble with Australian authorities over the non-payment of employee taxes. The company allegedly received a further A$870,000 in 2002.

Other companies linked to Vell Paari which allegedly received payments from Maika were a South African firm (US$3.12 million), media company Tamil Nesan (RM150,000), and a film distributor which was given RM1.3 million to buy the rights for Tamil hit movie “Sivaji the Boss”.

When contacted, Vell Paari told FMT that he would issue a statement soon to respond to the allegations.