Malaysia detained four government officials on suspicion of taking bribes as it expanded a crackdown on bauxite mining after the nation’s anti-graft agency said it found “elements of corruption” committed in the extraction of the ore.
The Anti-Corruption Commission said it had detained officials from the Land Office in central Pahang state who were suspected of taking bribes from unlicensed miners to protect them from enforcement action. The agency said earlier it “has received many complaints on environmental pollution from uncontrolled bauxite mining activities” and that it won’t hesitate “to take action against those found involved in corruption or misuse of power.”
Malaysia on Wednesday imposed a three-month ban on bauxite mining in Pahang, the largest producing state. The country, the biggest shipper of bauxite to China, will stop mining the ore from Jan. 15 to cut river and sea pollution, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Jaafar. Exports will be allowed to cut port inventories, and after the suspension the government will limit output to the capacity to ship the material, he said.
The original article can be found at bloomberg.com