PETALING JAYA, Aug 20 – Four personal bank accounts of Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh have been frozen over anti-graft investigations on an illegal factory in Sungai Lembu near Bukit Mertajam.
The Star cited a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) source as saying that the accounts with amounts totalling RM2 million were frozen before the weekend.
The source was quoted as saying that the agency was still investigating the case and recording statements from relevant parties over the controversial carbon processing factory which allegedly had been operating without a valid permit for years and caused environmental pollution.
Phee, 66, was in the custody of the MACC for three days before the High Court declared his five-day remand invalid on Aug 14. The MACC has since said that it will appeal against the decision.
Two other men involved in the case, a father and son aged 70 and 37, who are the owners of the factory, were also ordered released from remand by the court.
Phee has taken sick leave from state government work till Monday.
The DAP assemblyman for Sungai Puyu is being investigated for using his office or position for gratification under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009.
If found guilty, he faces 20 years’ jail and a fine not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
Phee’s arrest on Aug 11 followed a multi-agency operation carried out at the factory the day before.
The Department of Environment (DoE) found that the factory did not have a proper air pollution control system and was said to be operating illegally on agriculture land in Sungai Lembu.
The MACC, the Immigration Department, the DoE and the Inland Revenue Board jointly conducted the operation.
Besides the factory, the Seberang Perai Municipal Council’s licensing department was also raided by the MACC.
The anti-graft agency said it is investigating two letters allegedly written by Phee, asking that no action be taken against the illegal factory.