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MACC raid against FIC ends, three boxes of documents seized

KUALA LUMPUR: After almost eight hours of operation, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has taken away three boxes of documents believed to be related to the purchase of high-end London property by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC).

Eight uniformed officers arrived at Balai Felda on Jalan Gurney here at 10.20am on Monday to investigate the Felda’s investment arm over the property purchase.

They left the premises at 5.45pm in two separate vehicles without addressing the awaiting press.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki confirmed the seizure of the documents and said that the team will look through the documents and information obtained from the FIC office.

"Important witnesses will be called to give their statement tomorrow to allow the investigative team to complete their investigation," he said in a statement.

The raid came following fresh information obtained by MACC which showed that the property, which was located at an upmarket Kensington area in London, was purchased at a much higher price, resulting in huge losses amounting to millions of ringgit.

FIC was said to have acquired the four-star hotel between 2013 and 2015 for a total of £60mil (RM330mil), making it the 12th investment in Felda’s group hospitality portfolio.

In December 2014, then Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad launched the hotel.

The property comprises 62 units of guest rooms and two units of three-bedroom serviced apartments.

FIC was established in 2013 with a focus on real estate, hospitality and the oil and gas sectors.

Newly appointed chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad recently said Felda was looking to hive off its overseas assets and hotels, including the Grand Plaza Kensington Hotel.

He said Felda was mulling whether to dispose the hotel for more than RM500mil, adding that the returns from the hotel investment did not justify its stay in the industry.

FIC, in a statement, confirmed the visit by MACC, and said that it would give full support and cooperation to the probe.

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