PETALING JAYA: Several investigative agencies have raided offices linked to businessman Datuk Vinod Sekhar (pix), in connection to a money laundering case, MalaysiaNow reports.
According to the portal, officers from the National Financial Crime Centre (NFCC), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Bank Negara Malaysia and the Inland Revenue Board have conducted raids at the premises of Petra Group, which operates a chain of companies and organisations headed by Vinod.
A source close to the investigations told MalaysiaNow that the raid some two weeks ago in Bangsar followed months of investigations into alleged money laundering and tax evasion involving hundreds of millions of ringgit.
It said officers had seized “some documents and items” as part of the probe.
It is also learnt that the raids were carried out while Vinod was out of the country.
Vinod is the son of the late BC Sekhar who was credited with modernising Malaysia’s rubber industry. He was declared bankrupt by the High Court in 2005 but cleared of his bankruptcy status last year, according to MalaysiaNow.
The news portal also reported that Vinod through GR Technologies, a company with an address in Bangsar, had secured the lion’s share of billions of dollars worth of contracts to supply ventilators to the Hungarian government.
Hungary’s purchase of ventilators from various suppliers kicked up a storm last year at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, with opposition politicians there calling out the deals for being opaque as well as resulting in an oversupply.
They also said the ventilators bought by Hungary were overpriced, and questioned why the purchases were made through the foreign affairs ministry.
Vinod confirmed getting the contract but insisted that “everything was above board”, adding that he had received a “normal percentage” in commission.
Documents obtained by MalaysiaNow from Hungary showed Budapest agreeing to pay Vinod a total of US$559,600,000, which at the time of the contract in May 2020 converted to about RM2.43 billion, through several bank accounts.
Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) has urged Hungary to release specific details related to the contracts to Vinod, saying there are questions on whether GR Technologies had fulfilled transparency regulations in the country.