3 claim trial in Sabah 'Watergate' corruption case involving $18.4m


KOTA KINABALU - Former Sabah Water Department director Awang Mohd Tahir, 54, has been charged with 12 counts of money laundering involving a total of RM56.9m (S$18.4m) at the Sessions Court here.

His wife Fauziah Piut, 51, was slapped with 19 similar charges involving a total of RM56.9m.

Awang's former deputy and suspended Sabah finance ministry advisor Lim Lam Beng, 64, was charged with four counts of money laundering at the same court.

They were charged before Sessions Court Ummu Kalthom Abdul Samad.

All three claimed trial to the charges.

The sensational corruption case came to light after raids were made at the office and home of the 54-year-old director and his 52-year-old deputy on Oct 22.

Investigators found RM45m in cash in Awang's house and some RM3mil in Lim's office.

MACC also arrested Lim's 55-year-old brother, a businessman.

Besides the suspension of the two top officials, 49 individuals were arrested while 15 engineers with the Sabah Water Department were implicated in the case.

The MACC believes RM3.3b in funds meant for water projects in Sabah since 2010 were siphoned off through a network of companies.