The 45 charges against Zahid

Bede Hong

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi faces multiple charges related to RM114 million. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, October 19, 2018.

UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today claimed trial to 45 counts of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money-laundering involving RM114.15 million.

Of the total, RM21.25 million was allegedly for kickbacks for approving projects related to foreign worker recruitment when he was home minister.

The amount on 27 charges of money-laundering was around RM72.06 million and included the purchase of two bungalow lots in Kajang totalling RM5.9 million.

Most of the charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA) were for offences that took place between May 2016 and April 2018 in the form of bank deposits to a Maybank.

The deposits were all made from an account belonging to law firm Lewis & Co Advocates & Solicitors, according to information from the charge sheets. 

Zahid also faces 10 counts of criminal breach of trust involving funds  of nearly RM20.83 million belonging to the foundation, Yayasan Akalbudi, of which he is a trustee.

The former deputy prime minister also faces eight counts of corruption for abusing his power as home minister.

The first three charges are for receiving gratification amounting to RM13.25 million between July 2016 and February 2017, allegedly as inducement to assist a company obtain projects under the government’s MyEG electronic platform.

The gratification in the form of cheques was allegedly received from Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services by way of Public Islamic Bank Bhd in favour of Jogabonito Jewellery & Diamond through Junaith Asharab Md Shariff to a Maybank account belonging to the same legal firm, Lewis & Co. 

The fourth and fifth counts involve receiving gratification in April 2017 amounting to RM6 million from Chew Ben Ben, a director of Data Sonic Bhd, as reward for appointing the company to carry out the insertion of 12.5 million biodata passport chips for five years.

The sixth, seventh and eighth counts involve receiving gratification amounting to RM2 million between August 2017 and March 2018 from Azlan Shah Jaffri, a director of Profound Radiance Sdn Bhd by way of the law firm Lewis & Co.

The transaction was allegedly a reward for appointing the company as services provider for a one-stop centre for Pakistan and Nepal at the Home Ministry.  

The 65-year-old, who is Bagan Datuk MP and opposition leader, faces the possibility of lengthy jail terms and hefty fines if found guilty.

Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi allowed RM2 million bail in one surety and to be posted in instalments: RM1 million today and the balance by October 26.

She also ordered Zahid to surrender his passport to the court.   

Case has been set for mention on December 14. – October 19, 2018.

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