Jan 5, 2010

A-G: We’ll bring back jet engines


By Farrah Naz Karim

PUTRAJAYA: The attorney-general yesterday vowed that the two jetfighter engines stolen from the Royal Malaysian Air Force would be brought back to the country.
Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said the government would use all available resources, including the global police network, legal assistance and relations with several countries, in order to do so.

He said police had completed investigations “to a large extent” on the engines, the powerplants for the F-5E Tiger II fighter and RF-5E Tigereye reconnaissance aircraft.

Gani said he would announce “very soon” the decision on the next course of action against those involved in the thefts.

He also confirmed that investigations showed no senior armed forces officers were involved, adding that the police investigation had centred on everyone involved, whether directly or indirectly.

To a question, Gani said he could not reveal the exact whereabouts of the engines as efforts to recover them were still proceeding.

“What is important is recovering the engines. I wouldn’t know if they had been dismantled, used for another aircraft, for scrap iron or sinkers for fishing, but all efforts to recover the engines will be made.

“There is no compromise there and we know that the engines were shipped out to a certain country the exact location of which, I cannot say.” Gani said the investigations showed the two engines were brought to the Matra 1 warehouse at the Kuala Lumpur air base in Sungai Besi on Nov 1, 2007 before being transferred to a place in USJ, Subang Jaya on Dec 30, 2007 and Jan 1, 2008.

Police investigations, he said, also showed that on May 4, 2008, the engines were transferred into a container and shipped to Argentina where they were offloaded. They were trans - ferred to another ship headed for Uruguay, the last official point of disembarkation.

The military, said Gani, realised the two engines were missing on May 22, 2008, and conducted investigations before lodging a police report on Aug 4, 2008.

On the estimated value of the missing engines, Gani said the engines, including one from a second-hand aircraft bought in 1975, would have depreciated significantly.

“In all fairness, it’s just like buying a car where depreciation sets in.We have to be realistic about it.”

Present at the press conference yesterday were Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin, Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department deputy director I Datuk Nooryah Mat Anvar and the A-G’s Chambers prosecution division chief Datuk Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah.

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