(LYON, FRANCE) INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization, has replied to a call by an International NGO coalition to arrest Abdul Taib Mahmud ("Taib"), Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, and thirteen of his family members on charges of corruption, fraud, abuse of public office and related crimes.
In a letter to the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund, INTERPOL's General Secretariat states that "INTERPOL's assistance may be activated only by the decision of the competent domestic authorities and at the request of the national contact point - National Central Bureau (NCB). Should you wish to trigger criminal proceedings against the individuals at stake, you are kindly advised to contact the national police and/or judiciary."
According to INTERPOL's website, the National Central Bureau for Malaysia is directly under the command of the Inspector General of Police, the head of Malaysia's 102'000 strong police force.
Last month, the Bruno Manser Fund and sixteen co-signatories called on the Malaysian Attorney General, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Inspector General of Police to take immediate police action against Taib and thirteen of his family members and accused them of having formed an international criminal organization.
Research by the Bruno Manser Fund has shown that the Taib family holds stakes in over 400 companies in 25 countries and offshore jurisdictions with an estimated worth of several billion US dollars. The Swiss NGO alleges that these Taib family assets are illicit assets acquired by the systematic breach of the law and the use of illegal methods.
Taib has been Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Minister of State Planning of Malaysia's largest state since 1981. He is widely thought to be chief culprit for the large-scale destructive logging of Sarawak's tropical rainforests.
The Malaysian authorities have hitherto failed to acknowledge receipt of the NGO complaint, which was sent to them by registered mail.
Taib himself refused to comment. According to Free Malaysia Today, Taib not only refused to see the reporters after the last state cabinet meeting but also barred them from entering the ministerial complex, for the first time in 30 years. "It is obvious that the chief minister is haunted by allegations of corruption against him", a senior reporter was quoted.
(03 January 2012)
Source : Swiss Bruno Manser Fonds