KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 22): PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli has named former deputy defence minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad's second wife Zainab Mohd Salleh as the owner of Alizes Marine Ltd.
The company was also named in the Panama Papers as well as the Paradise Papers, which disclose how offshore companies hide money from illegal activities around the world.
In a statement on Monday (Aug 22), the former Pandan MP also said Zainab was a shareholder in offshore firm Intralogistics Ltd, which in turn has a stake in Alizes Marine Labuan.
Rafizi said the governance, procurement and finance investigation committee’s report into the littoral combat ship (LCS) embezzlement scandal had clearly shown the involvement of the Alizes Marine companies.
He alleged that the embezzlement came in several forms.
Firstly, he claimed the companies were appointed as technical consultants despite not having expertise in the project.
Rafizi alleged the companies sent invoices for work that was not executed, and some RM23.37 million was swindled in this manner between 2011 and 2014.
He further said that Alizes Marine was appointed as a spare parts supplier for the LCS project.
He added the appointment was based on a false premise that the company was licensed by the French government to export global defence products.
Rafizi said the company was paid RM210 million for spare parts allegedly supplied by a French company whereas the payment was channelled to shell companies registered in Malta and Labuan.
Rafizi said an internal investigation by Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd (BHIC), page 96, paragraph 22.214.171.124, stated: “It is noted that Abdul Latiff is the spouse of Zainab.” It added that Dr Abdul Latiff, who is currently Special Functions Minister, was deputy defence minister from 2008 till 2013, when current Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was the defence minister.
Rafizi further alleged that the embezzlement from the LCS project spanned several years and was well orchestrated.
"I can affirm that there were other defence contracts involving Latiff Ahmad and that LCS is not the only project involving companies linked to him.
"There are national defence projects that involve Alizes Marine as well as other companies owned by or linked to Abdul Latiff or his wife," he said.
He said the schemes to siphon funds from the LCS project using shell entities owned by the deputy defence minister were not a coincidence.
“This was why I demanded an explanation from Zahid Hamidi as the [then] defence [minister] and then finance minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pertaining to the design change from Sigma to Gowind.
“It is impossible that embezzlement of funds from projects handled by Najib and Zahid can happen without their knowledge,” Rafizi said.
Rafizi also advised the Perikatan Nasional and PAS leaderships to take heed that the LCS scandal would be a drag on them as senior colleague Abdul Latiff and his family were directly implicated in the companies that siphoned funds from the LCS project.