Legal Matters

Ahmad Zahid’s trial: Converting RM7.5 mln into cheques was money laundering – Witness

— The High Court was today told that the process of converting cash amounting to RM7.5 million into 35 cheques in the case involving Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was money laundering derived from illegal sources.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Mohd Fahmee Mohamad Nor, 39, said this was based on his investigation into the entire case involving the former deputy prime minister.

The 95th prosecution witness said on the 49th day of the trial of Ahmad Zahid, who is facing corruption, abuse of power and money laundering charges involving millions of ringgit in funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.

According to the 27th money-laundering charge, Ahmad Zahid is alleged to have ordered money changer Omar Ali Abdullah to convert RM7,511,250.20 in cash into 35 cheques to be deposited into law firm Lewis & Co to purchase fixed deposits in Maybank.

During re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffrey Ong, Mohd Fahmee said according to Omar Ali, he did not know the individuals who gave him the money, which he had converted into cheques under the name of Messrs Lewis & Co, the trustee of Ahmad Zahid’s Yayasan Akalbudi.

“Omar Ali only said that the individuals were neatly dressed and the money was given on Ahmad Zahid’s instruction,” he said.

Yesterday, Mohd Fahmee told the court that Omar Ali had received a large amount of money from unknown individuals around his company Syarikat Marhaba Enterprise Sdn Bhd premises.

Asked whether the investigation found that the money was a donation from charity foundation Yayasan Albukhary, Mohd Fahmee replied “No, and investigation did not found any receipt showing that the money was a donation from the foundation.”

“Yayasan Al Bukhary is a big foundation, but I did not conduct an in-depth investigation on it. I did not look at Yayasan Albukhary’s accounts and did not record a statement from Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary.

“I decided not to conduct a detailed investigation because Omar Ali did not know the individuals who gave him the money,” he said.

On whether he had been contacted by anyone from Yayasan Al Bukhary after Omar Ali testified in Ahmad Zahid’s trial, Mohd Fahmee replied “No”.

Earlier, when asked by lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal who is representing Ahmad Zahid, whether he knew that Omar Ali had testified in court that the money was a donation from Yayasan Al Bukhary, Mohd Fahmee did not answer the question.

Ahmad Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charges, 12 of which were for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving millions of ringgit of Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

The trial continues before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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