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Missing jet engines 'found'
Thu, Dec 24, 2009
The Star/Asia News Network

By LOURDES CHARLES

KUALA LUMPUR: The missing RM50mil jet engines have been 'found' - they are in Argentina.

It is learnt the General Electric J85-21A afterburner turbojet engines (the power plant for the single-seater F-5E Tiger 11 and RF-5E Tigereye) were shipped off from Port Klang to a third country before ending up in Argentina.

All documents on the sale and shipping of the parts are said to be originals.

It is believed that the engines are in the possession of an individual. A quick search over the Internet revealed that the Argentina military does not use the F-5E Tiger 11 and RF-5E Tigereye.

Several senior Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) officers, including generals, are expected to be quizzed by police in connection with the theft.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hasan said police would question the generals although four people, including three low-ranking RMAF personnel, had been arrested and released on bail for their alleged role in the theft.

'We need to question all of them as it is not easy to just cart away the engines without authorisation and proper documents. Our investigators have so far seized and recovered several documents pertaining to the sale and shipping of the engines,' he said.

Police have also seized and frozen the property of the local jet engine buyer, said to be worth millions of ringgit, as they believe the assets were bought from ill-gotten gains.

It is learnt that the properties - a double-storey bungalow, two luxury condominium units and cash in the bank - were seized under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

More people are expected to be quizzed and more assets seized as investigations continue.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the engines were discovered missing from the Sungai Besi RMAF airbase during routine maintenance service. Also missing were its maintenance and service records.

He said a brigadier-general and 40 other armed forces personnel had been sacked over the incident.

Meanwhile, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has given an assurance that his Chambers would go 'all out' in this case.

'It is a serious matter. I need a full investigation,' he said in New Delhi.


 
 
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