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Rediff.com  » News » Malaysia: Hindraf now faces embezzlement charges

Malaysia: Hindraf now faces embezzlement charges

January 19, 2008 11:08 IST

Supporters of a Hindu rights group, which spearheaded mass protests demanding better treatment for ethnic Indians in Malaysia, are being investigated for allegedly misusing several hundred thousand dollars in donation funds, the police said.

The probe by the Malaysian police follows the detention of five leaders of non-governmental Hindu Rights Action Forum (Hindraf), who were taken into custody last month under the controversial Internal Security Act after they organised a massive rally, declared illegal by the government, against the alleged marginalistion of their community.

The money amounting to $ 215,000, which was collected by the group during special prayers, forums and from donations, was meant to finance charity work as well as aid the families of its detained leaders, the Star daily reported, quoting police.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar said the police received a report that alleged the funds were being misused by Hindraf supporters.

"The report lodged alleged that several people entrusted with managing the money had allegedly misused the money for personal gain. We are investigating the matter and have classified the case as criminal breach of trust," he was quoted as saying.